LONDON - Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have been told to apologise to Red Bull’s 800 staff after they took each other out in Azerbaijan at 220mph.
The pair’s mutually race-ending shunt was the fifth time they had gone wheel-to-wheel in Baku. And, after touching tyres earlier, their final collision had an air of inevitability about it.
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, refused to apportion blame, saying they were "both in the doghouse".
"They’re equally responsible," he hadded. "What’s obviously annoying is that we’ve given away an awfully large amount of points, so both drivers will be apologising to all the members of staff who work so hard to put these cars together.
"It’s a fine line - competition is what people want to see, and we want to allow the drivers to race each other. For the last two years, they’ve done a very good job of that.
"We will discuss things prior to Barcelona, but we want to continue to allow the drivers to race. But they have to ensure that, if they are going wheel-to-wheel, they give each other enough space.’
It was the third time in four races that Verstappen has crashed, following skirmishes with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and now Ricciardo. Verstappen, 20, appeared to make two movements - one more than is allowed - in defending his fourth position from his teammate, who, for his part, drove into the back of him. Both drivers were reprimanded by the stewards.
However, Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda said: "It is 70 per cent Verstappen, and 30 per cent Ricciardo. If you move on him all the time, where can the poor guy go? It is a simple thing. If I were the Red Bull team, I would go home and cry. It is a disaster.
"I would bring them in the office and tell them how much less they will get paid for the damage they have done. We thought about this once (with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg) but we didn’t have to do it."