Ricciardo, F1 teammate Verstappen clash

Philip Duncan
Ricciardo, F1 teammate Verstappen clash

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have been embroiled in a war of words during a fiery qualifying session for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo claimed team-mate Verstappen ignored a direct order from Red Bull to give him a tow to increase his straight-line speed at the outfit's home race on Saturday.

Verstappen, who did benefit from Ricciardo's slipstream qualified fifth, but then seemingly refused to help out his team-mate, and the Australian finished two places lower.

Following a string of heated radio messages with his race engineer Simon Rennie, Ricciardo then pointed the finger at his younger team-mate.

"I am not too impressed to be honest," Ricciardo said in the moments after qualifying.

"We could have been more fair."

Verstappen is signed up to Red Bull for another two years, but Ricciardo is out of contract with the team at the end of the season.

Verstappen, 20, was urged over the radio to move in front of Ricciardo and assist with his team-mate's qualifying lap.

"What is going on," Verstappen was quizzed by the Red Bull pit wall.

"Overtake him, mate, just overtake him".

Verstappen replied: "No. Last weekend I was in front, now he is in front. Come on, man."

Refusing another order, Verstappen added: "No. It's discipline."

Providing his version of events, Verstappen later said: "We always agree before the weekend who is going in front.

"I went in front (at the last race) in Paul Ricard, and he was in front at the race before that.

"So we just discussed that this was his weekend to go in front. That's how it is. It's very simple. Every run in Paul Ricard I was in front, so we have to do the same here."

Verstappen added: "We want to do the best qualifying possible, and of course you want to beat each other, and of course you want to take advantages from that.

"But if they say 'you have to drive in front for all qualifying', you have to do it. That's what I did in Paul Ricard, so of course it's Daniel's turn here."

Earlier this season, Ricciardo and Verstappen were ordered to apologise in person to Red Bull's 800 staff after they crashed out in Azerbaijan.