Max Verstappen came down on Charles Leclerc for their Lap 1 coming together in Sakhir GP which had Sergio Perez in the mix too.

With Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas not having a great start in F1 Sakhir GP, it put Red Bull’s Verstappen in a spot of bother as he had to take evasive action all-through, which allowed Racing Point’s Perez and Ferrari’s Leclerc pounce on him on left and right, respectively.

In the approach to right-hander, Verstappen braked early behind Bottas as Perez went ahead on the outside before taking the corner, while Leclerc zoomed past on the inside. The Monegasque braked late in the corner and collided with the Mexican.

It spun Perez around as Leclerc along with Verstappen ended up in the barrier. The Dutchman tried all to avoid both but the gravel trap sucked him in. He was clearly not happy as it was shown that he was speaking with the Monegasque at the sidelines.

The stewards blamed Leclerc as well as he was handed a three-place grid drop for Abu Dhabi GP. He took the blame, as he saw Perez post-race, to not only apologise to him but also congratulate him for winning the F1 Sakhir GP – his career’s first.

“Actually the start wasn’t bad, but of course, Valtteri squeezed, which is normal, so I had to back out, and basically from there onwards, it was all about surviving in-between the cars,” said Verstappen to TV media. “I don’t know why they were being so aggressive and so reckless.

“We are all up in the front, and at the end of the day now, three cars basically were the victim of that, two cars heavily, so I don’t really know why, especially Charles in Turn 4, why he dives up the inside like that, especially to brake that late as well. What do you expect? Checo cannot see what is happening on the inside.

“Charles basically just locked his wheel and understeered into him, and because of that, when Checo was spinning backwards, I tried to go around the outside, tried not to damage my car, but there’s nothing you can do there. It’s frustrating to retire so soon in a race where we had a racy car and a good chance of doing well,” summed up Verstappen.

As mentioned, Leclerc raised his hands up on it and felt bad that a good qualifying was undone. “I was side-by-side with Max I think, or rather he was a bit in front,” he said. “I saw Sergio on the outside but I was expecting him to stay on the outside of Bottas, but he actually wanted to cross the line and when I saw that it was basically too late already.

“I then locked up my front wheel and collided with Checo. I am not putting the blame on anyone else, if anyone is to blame, it’s me. Of course I am disappointed and it will be good to be back in the car in just a few days so that I can put this race behind me,” summed up Leclerc.

Here’s the video of the Lap 1 crash:

Here’s what Sergio Perez said about the whack

Here’s what the stewards said