Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says Racing Point’s Sergio Perez “took himself out” of contention in the early stages of the F1 Portugese GP after the two collided.

It was deemed a racing incident by the stewards, and so consequently, no driver was penalised for the incident. It was one, though, that proved costly for Perez, who was then spinning across the exit of turn four, the Mexican having attempted a move around the outside before he made contact with the right-front tyre of Verstappen with his opposite left-rear.

Perez dropped to the rear of the field like a stone through water, his forced pit stop doing little to help him retain track position. It was only as a result of a heroic comeback that he finished in P7, having fought his way up to P5 at one stage thanks to a monumental stint on the medium tyres.

It was a collision that left Perez driver frustrated initially, but in the eyes of Verstappen, the damage to the Mexican’s race was self inflicted, as he accused his adversary of having “taken himself out” by not affording adequate space.

“It was quite eventful,” said Verstappen. “The first two laps. The start itself was quite OK. I had a good draft and, of course, down to Turn 1, it was quite low-grip into Turn 1, so I had to go a little bit wide. It was hectic also the first lap. In Turn 3 I had to go a bit wide and I was behind Lewis but I had Sergio next to me.

“He was going around the outside in Turn 4 but then, I don’t know, he didn’t leave enough space and basically he took himself out while I was just driving on the normal line and luckily I had no damage. I was a bit cautious on that lap [after the crash] because I was not sure what was going to happen with the car, if I had damage or not or if something would break but luckily I looked at the car when I jumped out and nothing was damaged, so that was very lucky,” added Verstappen.

Perez had a decidedly different view of the accident, as he stated that he left Verstappen the necessary room to round the corner. There seems to be merit to both points, as a lack of grip suffered by all those on the grid led to racing incidents and close-calls up and down the field. “I gave enough space to Max Verstappen,” he said.

“The contact was really unfortunate. The Mercedes at the front were struggling with the mediums and Max was closing on them. I saw that Valtteri [Bottas] pushed Max wide and then he came back onto the track too aggressively causing a collision. I understand it was very difficult.

“You could see everyone was struggling a lot. We touched late in the corner, I haven’t seen a replay yet, but basically at that point I was just a passenger. It was then made worse by having a puncture and having to stop on the first lap. I had to drive to the pits with a big vibration too,” summed up Perez.

Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner thought the same as Verstappen. “It is racing, it is tough, Sergio is going around the outside,” he said to TV media. “Of course, I am going to say it is a racing incident. He didn’t get a penalty and after that he was able to build the temperature in the tyre.”

Here’s the incident video:

Here’s what happened between Lance Stroll and Lando Norris

Here’s how F1 Portuguese GP race panned out