Hours after the electric crash between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen at the end of the long straight in Baku, the FIA has handed out a “reprimand” for both drivers. According to the FIA both drivers had a part to play in the spectacular crash:
‘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.’
It wasn’t an easy race for the pair as they clashed twice during their shortly lived 40-lap race. At the very beginning of lap 40 Ricciardo hit the back of Max Verstappen under breaking into Turn One.
The stewards were kind to both drivers by only handing out a reprimand – but potentially they could have gone as far as handing out grid penalties for both drivers at the Spanish GP.
Horner agreed that both drivers shared equal blame and this is a direct result of allowing free racing between the pair. This is exactly what the fans want but there needs to be a line drawn somewhere.
“We allow them to race, we allow them to go wheel to wheel. We discussed in the pre-race meetings about giving each other space and this was the culmination of two guys taking things into their own hands which shouldn’t have happened,” said Horner.
“They are both in the doghouse, you can see that in their body language and they will be in the factory to apologise to all the staff prior to the Barcelona race.”
In reality, what does a reprimand mean?
Think of reprimands are points in your driving license. The more you rack-up, the closer you are to losing your license. In the world of Formula 1, if a driver earns 3 reprimands in a single season it means an automatic 10-place grid penalty for the following race.
Losing both cars in Baku means that Red Bull now trail Ferrari, the Constructor’s Championships leaders to a healthy (or unhealthy depending on who you are) 59 points. That is an amount which even early on the season will be very difficult to close on performance alone.
Max Verstappen has now been involved in an incident in every race of the season so far. Its been a tough start for the young prodigy.