Red Bull boss Christian Horner sided with Max Verstappen after a squabble with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying. Ricciardo was unhappy that Verstappen was not instructed to give him a tow in Spielberg, but Horner said that the Australian was the one ignoring team instructions.
Ricciardo was angered after being sent from his pit box ahead of Verstappen on all three of his runs during Q3 at the Red Bull Arena, at one point slowing down to prompt the Dutchman to drive past him.
Both drivers were engaged in heated debates with their engineers - Ricciardo told to "get on with it" while Verstappen seemed to criticise his colleague's lack of "discipline". They ultimately qualified fifth and seventh, with the Haas of Romain Grosjean nudging ahead of Ricciardo.
Ricciardo remained vexed after the session, saying the team "could have been more fair", but Verstappen pointed to his willingness to merge ahead of Ricciardo in all qualifying runs in France last week.
And Horner backed up Verstappen's account, detailing the processes that Red Bull employ week to week.
"We have a very simple policy here that's operated for the last seven years is that we alternate from weekend to weekend who drives out of the garage first," Horner said.
"It's the only way to keep it scrupulously fair from circuit to circuit. This weekend was Daniel's turn to drive out of the garage first ahead of Max. Obviously he felt that Max might be benefitting from that. That's why he started to back up a bit.
"The drivers know explicitly every weekend it alternates. Last weekend, Max drove out first, Daniel would have followed him. Next weekend it will be the other way around. Even in the debrief, from weekend to weekend, there it's who talks first. It's the way to keep it as scrupulously fair as we can.
"They know the situation. There's nothing to explain."
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