Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have become embroiled in a spat after being involved in a clash during Sunday's Bahrain GP.
Both recovering from lowly grid slots, the two drivers went wheel-to-wheel on the pit straight at the start of Lap 2 with the Red Bull driver using a slipstream to ease alongside the Mercedes.
The Dutchman would then push Hamilton deep with his front wing just touching the rear tyre of Verstappen's car, giving him a puncture before later stopping citing other damage.
The world champion would go on to finish third and would be overheard calling the 20-year-old a "d**head" in the cool down room before the podium but was more restrained in his public comments.
“Ultimately, I had a coming together with Max and it was an unnecessary collision,” said Hamilton. “There needs to be a certain respect between drivers. I need to watch it again, but it didn’t feel like a respectful move.
“It was a silly move for him because he didn’t finish the race and obviously he’s tending to make quite a few mistakes recently.”
The 33-year-old found an unlikely ally when a Dutch reporter questioned him on the word he used immediately after the race with Sebastian Vettel, who hasn't always seen eye-to-eye with Verstappen, jumping in.
“Can I answer that?” the Bahrain race winner said, to which the reporter agreed. “It’s not fair – I don’t know what Lewis did, we’ve all been in that situation. We fight someone and sometimes we go wheel-to-wheel, and it’s close, and we have a lot of adrenaline going.
“We are just racing, we are full of adrenaline and we say these things,” he added. “If I hit you in your face, you are not going to tell me, ‘Sebastian, that wasn’t nice’.
“It’s a human reaction, and sometimes I feel it’s all a bit blown up and artificial if we have these questions trying to make something out of nothing.”
Verstappen though stood his ground and believed if Hamilton had been the one out of the race as he was, his view would be different too.
“I had a good tow on the straight, the last corner was really good so it allowed me to stay close to Lewis," he explained.
“We got a bit squeezed but from the middle to the end of the corner I was ahead, I then felt a nudge from behind and could feel the puncture and therefore knew the race was likely over.
“In my opinion there was plenty of room for the both of us to go around that corner and to say ‘no action taken’ is a bit harsh as I am now out of the race due to that contact on my left rear," he added.
“If it was the other way around I’m sure he would want it looked into.”
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