Christian Horner has criticised Mercedes for suggesting Red Bull driver Max Verstappen drove "overly aggressive" during his tussle with Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix.
The F1 championship rivals clashed on the opening lap at Silverstone, sending Verstappen into the barriers and sparking furious debate in the aftermath over who was to blame for the incident.
Whilst Hamilton was penalised with a 10-second penalty for the collision, Red Bull was unhappy with it deemed to be a lenient punishment and has petitioned for a review by the FIA ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Mercedes took a different stance, however, with Hamilton, team principal Toto Wolff and trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin pointing towards Verstappen's aggressive driving style.
Writing in his Red Bull column, Horner said: "I felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ at that stage was unjustified.
"You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years.
"The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport.
"Both drivers are of course uncompromising in their driving style, but they are both highly skilled drivers with a great deal of experience.
"The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday."
Perez motivated to put Silverstone troubles behind him
Whilst the focus after Silverstone in the lead up to the race in Hungary this weekend has been on the Verstappen and Hamilton clash, Sergio Perez has had to dust himself off after a poor weekend left him looking for answers.
The Mexican dropped to the rear of the field after spinning in the inaugural sprint qualifying event before failing to reach the top 10 in the grand prix but Perez has turned his attention to securing a positive result ahead of the summer break.
"Silverstone was a poor weekend for me and one to forget," conceded Perez.
"I enjoyed the sprint race format though, it demands a lot more from the drivers with two races and two starts.
"It was definitely different, that’s for sure. Now I am fully focused on Hungary and we plan to bounce back. We are very motivated as a Team, we have worked really hard this week and we are doing everything we can to come back strong."