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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in the 'doghouse' at Red Bull after Azerbaijan Grand Prix collision

Team principal Christian Horner incensed after drama in Baku following Ricciardo's attempt to overtake Verstappen

Max Verstappen was ahead of Daniel Ricciardo the Baku race before the drivers clashed. Mark Thompson / Getty Images
Max Verstappen was ahead of Daniel Ricciardo the Baku race before the drivers clashed. Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has criticised both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo after their collision in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix and said the pair will apologise to all the team’s staff for the incident.

The drama in the race in Baku, won by world champion Lewis Hamilton, came at the start of Lap 40 when Ricciardo attempted to overtake Verstappen going into Turn 1.

The Australian ploughed into the back of the Dutchman as they fought for fourth place and both cars were out on the spot.

“They are both in the doghouse," an upset Horner said. "They will apologise to all of the staff before Barcelona.”

Horner conceded he was especially frustrated about the crash after the pair had been warned about keeping it clean on track before the race, and then during it as well after they had banged wheels early on in proceedings.

“We spoke to them in team meetings about giving each other space, this was the culmination of two guys talking things into their own hands, which shouldn’t have happened,” he added.

“There were probably three incidents between them through the race. They touched wheels and were told to calm it down, we don’t want to interfere with them going wheel-to-wheel.

“We are not apportioning blame one way or the other, they are both to blame for this.”

It is the second time in less than a year that Red Bull have seen their drivers come together. The previous occasion was in Hungary last July when Ricciardo was eliminated from the race after being hit by Verstappen.

“We did get close a few times, sometimes we are on the limit and unfortunately it ended like it did," Ricciardo said of the accident. "It is not a nice situation and we both feel bad.”

Verstappen shared the team’s viewpoint of not playing a blame game and he said: “We don’t need to speak about who is at fault because we are representing a team.”

Max Verstappen conceded he had to take some of the blame for the collision in Baku. Mark Thompson / Getty Images
Max Verstappen conceded he had to take some of the blame for the collision in Baku. Mark Thompson / Getty Images

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Meanwhile, Hamilton acknowledged he had been fortuitous to win his first race of 2018.

The Briton had run in third place going into the final laps of the race after a safety car period following the collision between the Red Bull pair.

But firstly championship rival Sebastian Vettel dropped down the order after he outbraked himself at Turn 1 attempting to overtake Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas for the lead. And then Bottas with four laps to go suffered a right-rear puncture that forced him to stop and handed Hamilton the 63rd victory of his career.

“It was quite an emotional race,” said the world champion, who now leads the championship by four points. “Valtteri did an exceptional job and deserved to win, Sebastian also did a great job so it feels a bit odd to be up here. Definitely an untidy race for me.”

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was second, Force India’s Sergio Perez third and Vettel fourth.