When Max Verstappen sent his RB13 into Ricciardo at the Hungarian Grand Prix, many swore that the friendly vibes between the drivers died that day. They’re wrong.
The number one rule in Formula One: don’t hit your teammate. While it previously assumed that Force India were in the running for the phrase to become their team motto, Horner-led Red Bull Racing has come forth as a viable option. Though not quite on the “Torpedo” level as Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen reminded us all why he’s the epitome of youthful aggression out on the track.
Verstappen, looking like he was about to unleash another daring charge into the corner of Turn 2 at The Hungaroring, found his left front locked up and his right front on its way to a reunion with Ricciardo’s left sidepod. Understandably, self-titled Honey Badger showed his teeth out on the track after the collision, branding his teammate a “f—ing sore loser” and was visibly upset over the fact that his race ended in just two turns.
Perhaps it’s because the incident between received much more coverage than the adventures of Ocon vs. Perez, but the notion that the two would fall out over the incident is a false one. The dynamic between Ricciardo and Verstappen is one of the strongest between drivers out on the grid, and to think that what occurred was anything but an accident is ludicrous – particularly when there’s footage of it.
Rather than being a consequence of an inter-team battle for dominance the likes of Force India, the incident was a result of both drivers doing all they could to put their cars forward in what was likely to be their position for quite some time. Verstappen was the first to draw attention to that fact:
“You know, the first lap needs to happen, and you need to try and get in the best possible position. That’s when you go for it, because that will be your position. You do everything you can, of course, to move forward.
I locked up and from then onwards you are just a passenger in your own car. Look, we were both looking to move towards the front. I locked up because I had another car in front of me and then I hit Daniel. That is of course not want you want, but you don’t do it on purpose.” – Max Verstappen
At the end of the day, the Red Bull boys could always be sighted horsing around on the rack, both wearing an ear-to-ear grin. Something that can’t be said for many other drivers out in the paddock. While this spell of unfortunate events has cast a slight pall on their relationship, it’s clear that the duo will be reveling in the good times for many years to come.