Lewis Hamilton criticised Max Verstappen for their "unnecessary" collision at the Bahrain Grand Prix, saying the Red Bull driver did not show him enough respect.
Verstappen suffered a puncture when his rear left tyre clipped Hamilton's front wing as he attempted to pass the Mercedes driver at the start of the second lap. The Dutchman had dived down the inside of Turn 1 and then attempted to squeeze Hamilton on the edge of the corner.
While Hamilton continued without damage, the incident left Verstappen with a puncture and damage to his car's differential. Although he pitted for new tyres, he would soon be forced to retire.
After the race, as Hamilton watched a replay of the incident in the cool-down room the drivers stand in before going onto the podium, he referred to Verstappen as "a d---head" for attempting the move, prompting a nervous smile from race winner Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton later admitted he was confused by the move.
"Ultimately, I had a coming together with Max and it was an unnecessary collision," Hamilton said in the post-race press conference. "There needs to be a certain respect between drivers. I need to watch it again, but it didn't feel like a respectful move."
Hamilton then referenced the fact Verstappen's messy start to the season, which also included a spin in Australia and a costly crash during qualifying in Bahrain.
"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. It was just unnecessary for him to do that. I can't really remember what point of the race it was or why we were in that position, but I don't really care to be honest."
The stewards opted not to look into the incident. Verstappen refused to be drawn into commenting too much on the collision, but he clearly felt he had done enough to edge himself ahead.
"I had a good run out of the last corner so I went to the inside, Lewis was trying to go around the outside and at one point I was ahead," Verstappen told Sky Sports after the race. "I still think there was still enough space on the left but I got a touch on the left rear, it destroyed my diff[erential]."
When asked if he felt it was just a racing incident - he replied: "I don't know, if it was the other way around he would have said something.
"It's no further action taken. It's fine."