Verstappen: It was Ricciardo’s turn to tow me

Max Verstappen has said Red Bull’s qualifying tactics were “very simple” as it was Daniel Ricciardo’s turn to repay the favour with a tow.

Verstappen and Ricciardo were slowly snaking around the Red Bull Ring in qualifying as both drivers argued over team radio who should be giving the tow ahead of a hot lap.

Ricciardo was seriously unimpressed back in the paddock, saying it was “unfair” that Verstappen did not overtake him and give him a tow.

But, Verstappen said it was clearly decided beforehand that it was Ricciardo’s turn to do the honours – as he did the same in France last weekend.

“We always agree before the weekend who is going in front,” the Dutchman said.

“I was going in front in Paul Ricard, he was going in front 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 also said there would be no issues between himself and Ricciardo ahead of Sunday’s race.

“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,” he added.

“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.

“Like I said, we always try to have the best possible position. But between us will be all good.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner also tried to clear the air, saying this was the way it has always worked at the team, and that it swaps from race to race.

“We have a very simple policy here that has operated for the last seven years which is that we alternate from weekend to weekend who drives out of the garage first,” he said.

“It is the only way to keep it as scrupulously fair from circuit to circuit, so this weekend was Daniel’s time to drive out of the garage first ahead of Max.

“The drivers know explicitly every weekend it alternates. So last weekend, Max drove out first and Daniel would have followed him.

“Next weekend it will be the other way round and even in the debrief from weekend to weekend, its them who talks first so it is the way to keep it as scrupulously fair as we can.

“They know the situation, so there is nothing to explain.”

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