Max Verstappen once again emerged as the winner, this time in the Austrian sprint race. Red Bull secured another victory in the second sprint race of the season, following Sergio Perez’s triumph in Baku. However, the race almost ended prematurely for both Red Bull drivers due to a fierce battle between them at the start.
The situation could have turned tragic, but after hearing everyone’s explanations, it seems that the issue has been resolved as Red Bull comments on the clash.
In the end, everything finished well for Red Bull and its two drivers. During the first lap of the sprint race in Austria, Max Verstappen, who started in the lead, was swiftly overtaken by Sergio Perez, who forced his teammate off the track.
A few meters later, Verstappen reclaimed his lead, only to be passed by a quick-thinking Nico Hulkenberg in a final overtaking attempt.
Red Bull Ring generates another inter-team collision
Team mate collisions at the Red Bull Ring in Formula 1 have become somewhat of a recurring theme, creating intense moments of drama and tension within teams. The picturesque circuit, nestled in the Styrian mountains of Austria, has witnessed instances where drivers from the same team have come together, resulting in costly and sometimes acrimonious incidents.
One such incident occurred during the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix involving the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. The race, characterized by a hard-fought battle between the two drivers, reached its boiling point on the final lap. Hamilton, trailing Bottas closely, made a bold move to overtake his teammate on the inside of Turn 4. However, the move resulted in contact between the two cars, with Bottas sustaining front-wing damage and Hamilton ultimately emerging victorious.
The collision sparked debates over team orders, fair play, and the relationship between team mates. It revealed the fine line that drivers must tread when racing against their teammates, balancing their competitive instincts with the need to maintain harmony and preserve team interests.
Another notable incident occurred in 2018, involving Red Bull Racing teammates Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. The two drivers collided on the opening lap of the race. As they battled for position, Verstappen attempted a forceful move on the inside of Turn 3, leading to contact with Ricciardo’s car. The collision resulted in both drivers retiring from the race, leaving their team disappointed and fans stunned.
Perez: “We had a productive discussion about it…”
When asked about the collision that occurred after the sprint race start, Sergio Perez also shared his perspective on the situation. In comments reported by nextgen-auto.com, he explained that he hadn’t seen Max Verstappen:
“We had a good start, I battled with Max, then I lost a position to Nico [Hülkenberg], who was very strong at the beginning of the race, and I had difficulties overtaking him. I think Max was upset that I made contact with him in Turn 2, but I didn’t see him.
“I had a poor first corner, so I tried to defend, and as soon as I realised he was there, I opened up the racing line. We had a productive discussion about it because even though we were first and second, visibility was very poor.”
Horner: “We will accept this explanation”
Christian Horner, the head of Red Bull, also downplayed the incident, stating: “They discussed it after the race. I think Checo (Perez) might not have seen Max returning on the right side. Fortunately, they didn’t collide, and achieving a one-two finish is an excellent result for the team.
“Our rules are clear and fair – race hard but give each other space. Turns one and three were fine; the scare happened between the two of them where things got a bit heated, but maybe Checo didn’t see Max. We will accept this explanation.”