Azerbaijan GP: Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo can continue to race despite crash, say Red Bull
Red Bull don't want to impose team orders but Christian Horner warns there can be no repeat of dramatic Baku crash
By James Galloway in Baku
Last Updated: 11/12/18 2:35pm
Christian Horner says Red Bull would be loath to impose team orders on Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo - but has warned his drivers they must avoid a repeat of their disastrous Azerbaijan GP wipe-out.
Just a fortnight after the team celebrated a stunning victory for Ricciardo in China that appeared to put them in genuine world title contention, Red Bull left Baku without any points after a race-long battle between their drivers resulted in terminal contact for the two cars at the start of lap 40.
Horner, Red Bull's team principal, said the team would discuss prior to the next race in Spain their strategy for allowing the drivers to race freely. However, he said no changes were planned and management would instead be reminding Ricciardo and Verstappen of their responsibilities.
"We will discuss it prior to Barcelona but we want to continue to allow the drivers to race," he told reporters.
"But they are driving the car at the end of the day and they've just got to ensure that if they are going wheel-to-wheel they allow each other enough space."
Mirroring the judgement of race stewards in Baku, Horner apportioned equal blame to both his drivers for the accident on the approach to Turn One and said they understood the incident was "unacceptable".
"We have discussed it at length on many, many occasions, and even this morning, that we wanted to avoid a repeat of Force India's scenario from last year," he said in reference to the team-mate crash between Perez and Ocon in Baku from 2017.
"That we will allow them to race plus, please, allow each other space. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened. They've been racing hard, on the limit, but in our mind fairly and then unfortunately this has happened."
Horner had already twice seen his two cars make mild wheel-to-wheel contact as Verstappen resolutely defended position from Ricciardo, but described those incidents as "hard, good racing" given both cars continued.
"It's a fine line because that's what people want to see," he added.
"We want to allow the drivers to race each other and for the last two years pretty much they have done a very good job of that. Unfortunately, this incident has happened today and the most important thing is to learn from it and try and ensure there's not a repeat."
Ricciardo and Verstappen reprimanded - the full stewards' verdict
'Both drivers contributed to the collision. The driver of car 33 made two moves, both of which were relatively minor.
'The driver of car 3 [Ricciardo] admitted he left his move to overtake on the left, too late. It was obvious to the stewards that although the incident had its origins in the moves by car 33, the driver of car 3 also contributed to the incident.
'Both drivers expressed regret about their respective contributions to the incident, during the Stewards' hearing.'