No action taken as Verstappen & Racing Point spar over Stroll clash

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The stewards took no further action against Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll over their collision during practice at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Both drivers ran side-by-side on the pit straight as they started flying laps shortly following a first red flag in FP2, caused by the engine failure and fire for Pierre Gasly.

When they reached Turn 1, however, Stroll simply turned in with Verstappen on the inside, resulting in his Racing Point being pitched into the gravel trap.

“I don’t want to talk about it too much because I was so surprised that he just turned in,” said the Dutchman, who coarsely suggested Lance was "blind" on the radio immediately after the incident.

“I was coming up to him and I don’t know where I had to go. I was starting my lap and he had just finished his, but we’ll see what happens, it’s FP2 and a shame we touched. It was just very unnecessary.

“Could he have backed out of it? Yeah. There’s always a discussion, we can go on forever but it’s just silly," he added.

However, what Verstappen was unaware of was Stroll was actually completing back-to-back flying laps.

"He shouldn't have been where he was," Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer said of Max via Sky Sports.

"We often do it [two push laps], other teams do two, so it's pretty common. You don't always do push-cool-push-cool-push, sometimes you do push twice just to see what the tyres are like.

"Had he known he was there he wouldn't have turned in. We didn't anticipate Max would go there, I mean what was the purpose?

"It's just ridiculous. For what gain? I can assure you 100% Max knew Lance was there. There's no way he doesn't know Lance was there, but Lance doesn't know Max is there. It's pretty simple to me."

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His Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner then offered a balanced analysis of events.

"The way I see that, you have to go back to the previous lap," he said.

"Lance is going into the last corner. Max has let him go because he wants to take a tow. He is assuming that Lance is obviously finishing a lap, he is not aware he is taking a second lap.

"He has let him past, tucked up behind him as he did with [Valtteri] Bottas in Sochi, taken the advantage of the tow assuming that he is going to back out and he knows he is there and is up the inside.

"He felt Lance was later on the DRS and then obviously Lance, for whatever reason, hasn't seen him and he has committed to the corner and turned in.

"So I think one was expecting the other to back off, or maybe both of them were expecting the other to back off. If that were a race, Max would have been deemed to have been up the inside and therefore the car on the outside should have given way."

That view was then later shared by the stewards.

“The drivers agreed in the hearing that the incident was the result of a misunderstanding between them and with hindsight, both could have contributed to avoiding the incident," their conclusion said.

“The stewards, therefore, find that neither driver was wholly or predominantly at fault and take no further action.”