BARCELONA, Spain -- Unsurprisingly, the events of Baku dominated Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen's Spanish Grand Prix media sessions on Thursday.
Verstappen and Ricciardo collided in Baku while battling for fourth position, prompting a furious reaction from team boss Christian Horner and the promise that they would be forced to discuss whether they are still allowed to race each other freely. Facing the press at the Circuit de Catalunya, both were coy on the details of that talk.
When asked if the team had established new rules, Verstappen simply said: "No".
Ricciardo elaborated a bit more on the discussions, saying: "We all talked about it. From all different points of views, from what the drivers could have done better, Max and myself. What the team could have done better, Christian and the decision makers on the pit wall. What the engineers could have done better or different, so everyone was involved in the process.
"So we had some long discussions and ... obviously we are the drivers and we created in the end the incident. That was an accumulation of events, and it was important to address all areas. I don't think it was just us in that moment, there was a build-up and maybe a way that we could have responded better, whether it was releasing a car [from the pits] or something. So a lot of things were talked about."
On the subject of team orders themselves, both appeared to be confident they would still be allowed to race freely, albeit with the understanding Red Bull will step in if absolutely necessary.
Verstappen said: "If maybe you say Baku again, I think at one point the team will may be tell us to calm down a bit and just follow each other, in the last few laps, I don't know. But in general, I think they still trust us. We also understand that we don't want that to happen again."
Ricciardo said: "If it got to that point again where there is banging wheels and stuff, then yes, especially if the car is faster behind, then you'd probably expect at some point they might go, 'right, let's swap cars and release one of them'. There is no guarantee but that was one thing we certainly talked about."
The incident occurred when Ricciardo drove into the back of Verstappen, who moved to the left to defend having previously drifted to the right. Ricciardo appeared more at ease with discussing the incident and dropped several suggestions he did not agree with Horner's verdict of 50-50 blame between both drivers.
When asked what Red Bull's new rule book said, he said: "I have a rule book? From Red Bull? I think they need to give it to someone else, so I don't need it."
He later said he hoped any future battle would be handled "with some more respect on track", although he gave his most telling answer when questioned about Ross Brawn's statement that the crash showed a flaw of modern F1 cars as the loss of downforce encountered when directly behind Verstappen's car made him powerless to prevent a crash.
"Once I committed I definitely committed early enough and at the time with a clear inside. I'm then on the brakes and when you get air taken away there was no ... you could see I tried to pull out of it but I knew there was no real escape route after that. So, you lose all downforce, all everything. Even the brakes lock a lot easier when you don't have the downforce.
"But that was like the end result, but it was due to that inside closing up..."
When Verstappen was asked if he agreed with Horner's assessment that both drivers were to blame, he said: "It doesn't matter. Because we crashed. Even if I had an opinion on it, we still crashed. So yeah, we just have to make sure it doesn't happen again."