Verstappen admits mistake, apologises to Ricciardo

Max Verstappen has admitted he made a mistake in colliding with Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix and says he will apologise to him.

The Dutch teenager crashed into the Australian’s car at Turn 2, where the impact caused damage that ended Ricciardo’s race.

An angry Ricciardo said it was the error of an “amateur to say the least”.

Verstappen told reporters: “It is never my intention to hit anyone, but especially not my teammate and especially with the relationship I have with Daniel - it's always really good and we can always have a laugh.

“This is not nice and I apologise to Daniel for that and also to the team because we could have scored some good points here.  

“I’ll speak with Daniel in private and we’ll sort it out.”

Ricciardo had suggested immediately after the incident that Verstappen did not like to find himself behind his teammate and insinuated that the collision was avoidable. 

“It was what it was,” he said. “And it is not on. It was amateur to say the least. He doesn’t like it when a teammate gets in front of him. It was a very poor mistake, but we’ll sort it out.

“The way Max handles it, more than the way I handle it, will dictate how it goes in the future.  

“For sure I can go and call him names after the race but it’s more how he will respond – if he acts like the age he is, or if he acts like a man about it and admits the error.

“If he starts bringing in some other kind of excuse, then we’ll have some problems.”

Verstappen said he could not help it. 

“It was, of course, not what you want. Everything started in Turn 1. The start was actually quite good, but I got squeezed wide by Bottas and lost quite a lot of speed.

“We were both fighting for position in Turn 2, so we braked quite deep into the corner.

“I tried to keep it to the inside, but then I just got locking, locking, and then unfortunately touched Daniel on the weakest point of the car, in the side.

“Of course, I was trying to avoid Daniel, but unfortunately that was not possible.”

Verstappen was given a 10-second penalty by the stewards for causing the accident. He continued the race and finished fifth. 

Team boss Christian Horner said: “It was a very frustrating race because we effectively lost Daniel and Max got a penalty in the same move.

“What you never want to see is teammates touching. 

“Max is aggressive, he is on the limit. He made a mistake today and it was costly for him, for Daniel and for the team.

“In the pre-race meeting we talked about the golden rule – ‘give each other space on Turn 1 and Turn 2. Has everybody got that?’ 

“And they gave us the nod and then that happened at Turn 2.

“Everybody makes mistakes. The important thing is how you respond to them. He has apologised and will go and see his teammate to apologise to him too.”

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