Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were equally responsible for their collision in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and wants the pair to be able to continue racing each other.
The pair had made slight contact early in the race at Turn 1 as Ricciardo tried to pass his teammate around the outside, with Verstappen retaining the position on two separate occasions. Ricciardo then managed to complete a move around the outside before both drivers made their pit stops, but Verstappen emerged ahead and the next attempt saw Ricciardo run into the back of the Dutchman under braking as they once again fought into the first corner.
“As a policy we want to let our guys race,” Horner said. “We’ve let them race hard against each other and unfortunately it has resulted in the worst possible scenario where you’ve had both drivers make contact and retire from the grand prix. It’s enormously disappointing.
“There’s no blame apportioned more in one direction or another. Both were equally responsible. What is annoying is that we’ve given away and awfully large amount of points, which we’ll be apologizing to all members of staff that work so hard to put these cars together.
“The important thing is to learn from it and do our very best to to avoid a repeat in the future because we want to allow the drivers to continue to race.”
When it was suggested that Verstappen moved under braking as Ricciardo moved to the inside, Horner replied: “Look, it’s a racing accident.
“They are both equally culpable, there’s not one or the other who is more to blame.”
And asked if any team orders will be applied for the following race in Spain, Horner reiterated he wants to leave his drivers free to fight with each other on track.
“We will discuss it prior to Barcelona but we want to continue to allow the drivers to race. They have to ensure if they are going wheel-to-wheel they allow each other enough space.”