Red Bull team chief Christian Horner says the coming together between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix was inevitable, and hails the way in which his drivers have handled the aftermath of the incident.
Much has been written about the clash between the Red Bulls in Turn 2 of the first lap at the Hungaroring.
The fact that Verstappen was quick to apologise to Ricciardo went a long way to diffusing the situation before it exploded.
Horner acknowledged, “Max has been mature enough to put his hand up and say yes I made a mistake. I apologise to Daniel and the team. Daniel has had time to reflect on it and said yes I accept the apology. Massively, you have to be able to look the other person in the eye. A text message or phone call is not the same.”
“They were perhaps a little zealous when you look at [Valtteri] Bottas’ move in Barcelona. We have talked about racing incidents happening, I see that as a racing incident. Max made a mistake. He stuck his hand up, he has apologized to his teammate. Daniel has accepted that apology. It happens.”
“We have been lucky to have gone well over 12 months with them starting next to each other so often, without them having touched previously. So obviously there was no intention in it. It was just very frustrating.”
Such scenarios, where two drivers from the same team collide, are often the subject of discussion before a race.
Indeed the Bulls did chat about such a situation arising on the opening lap of the race in Hungary.
Horner revealed, “We discussed it on Sunday morning, as we do every grand prix: You are starting next to each other. Please give each other room into Turn 1 and Turn 2. Dietrich is here this afternoon. Let’s not swap any carbon with each other. And ‘yup, yup, yup’, both drivers nodded in agreement, and then of course as soon as the red light goes out, that goes completely out the window.”
“But it is the first time it has happened in 18 months, and considering how often they have been close, and fighting so close with each other, it was inevitable that it was going to happen at some stage. The most important thing is how the individuals have dealt with it subsequent to it,” added Horner.