Red Bull backs Max Verstappen in qualifying spat with Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull backs Max Verstappen in qualifying spat with Daniel Ricciardo

Max Verstappen put aside a series of disappointments at his "home races" to win the Austrian Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing.

The Aussie was not impressed.

"I need to catch up with the points, so today was definitely a very good day for me and I just hope we can continue like this". "I'm not that happy at all", he said after qualifying seventh while Verstappen managed P4. "So it's the way to keep it as scrupulously fair as we can". I've had a few discussions since, with Christian [Horner] and with my engineer. The team, again, great call on that, and then virtually I was in the lead, and I just tried to do my own pace. "I had concerns and I spoke a little bit with my engineer about it, but I guess as a team it wasn't discussed", he said of the strategy. But in my mind, in the auto, I'm just like, "It's obvious what's happening, isn't it? Give me a run where I'm getting a tow instead of giving everyone else a tow".

But in a media briefing late on Saturday night at the Red Bull Ring, Ricciardo clarified: "During the heat of it all I thought I was ['stitched up']".

"We always agree before the weekend who is going in front", he said.

Sebastien Vettel had started his Ferrari sixth, having been penalized three grid places for impeding a rival in qualifying, but fought back to end third.

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"I was going in front at Paul Ricard (last weekend in France), he was going the race before that in front..."

"It was probably miscommunication and if we talked about it maybe it would be different". I'm not mad at him for that, that's just how it goes.

"Like I said, we always try to have the best possible position, but between us it will be all good". "So there was a bit of frustration from both probably". With your growing popularity, do you think it gets hard with the amount of media attention on you?

Verstappen made a fearless move at turn eight to pass Raikkonen, with the Red Bull giving the Ferrari a nudge without consequences.

Team boss Christian Horner clarified to Sky F1: "We have a very simple policy here, which we have operated for the last seven years, which is that we alternate from weekend to weekend who drives out of the garage first".

"This weekend's was Daniel's time to drive out of the garage first ahead of Max and he obviously felt Max might be benefitting from that". But up until this year it was all incredible and great and then you have maybe two or three bad weekends and all of a sudden it's: 'You can't drive any more'.