BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Sergio Perez accused Daniel Ricciardo of showing a lack of respect after the move which compromised both of their attempts to avoid elimination from the opening qualifying session for the Hungarian GP.
Perez was slowly approaching the final corner ahead of his final timed lap in the closing moments of Q1, with Haas' Romain Grosjean and Ricciardo following close behind. Tyre temperature can make or break a qualifying lap, and that process is not helped by moving so slowly, so Ricciardo took matters into his own hands -- he sped up to pass Grosjean and Perez around the final corner, only for the Mexican driver to put his foot down and hold position and start his lap ahead.
The incident ruined both men's attempts and saw them drop out of the first session. Perez was furious with Ricciardo's behaviour.
"We were stuck with traffic so everyone is trying to open a gap," he said. "You see the car ahead and everyone is just opening gaps.
"But I think what Daniel tried there was just very disrespectful. He screwed up his lap and my lap and I end up starting my lap to close to Norris, and I think Daniel was also very close to me, so it was just a very bad day for us."
He added: "I had to go and that meant I couldn't let him by because I had Grosjean behind and the lap is about to start. That was very bad move from his side."
The move does not contravene any rules, but is generally seen as bad form by other drivers. Fernando Alonso clashed with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen for a similar incident at the Italian Grand Prix last year.
Magnussen's Haas teammate Grosjean had the best seat in the house to this most recent incident. The Frenchman, who backed off after seeing Ricciardo bolt and managed to progress to Q2, said drivers should know better than that in similar situations.
"I thought there was a gentleman's agreement, I think that agreement is completely gone," Grosjean said. "It's always going to be a mess before the last corner.
"It's down to the car behind you not to attack anyone, to back off, at the last corner. It's not so nice from the guy behind, especially when there's time left at the end of the session to go round, we're all struggling with tyres and know those tyres are very sensitive to temperature. We're all in line so ask your team to let you go earlier if you don't want to be in a traffic jam."
Ricciardo defended himself after the session, saying he had not intentionally tried to hamper Perez's lap, but that he had to do what was necessary to try to drag his car into Q2.
When told what Perez had said, the Australian replied: "I wasn't trying to screw him, I wasn't trying to target him. I saw Lewis go, it worked for Lewis, and I was like 'well, I'm going to make a decision.' I thought then it would have backed everyone else off.
"I wasn't trying to be a p---k but obviously I'm trying to get my lap together because at that stage I knew I was probably going to be out of Q1 so... desperate times!"
On the topic of the gentleman's agreement in those situations, he said: "There is etiquette if it's within reason but everyone was crawling and it's like, at some point you just gotta do what's best for you I think. If everyone is spread out in their gap you normally have the etiquette, there's no need to screw anyone because you're in space. But kinda of all bunched up, as soon as one guy goes, it's like 'if he's going, I'm going.'
"So you don't intentionally screw anyone but at the end of the day it's each man for himself. I don't blame Perez or anyone else. In hindsight yes I could have sat back, because then I think it was only Nico behind me, in my head I thought if I go this low my tyres are going to be ice cold.
"Tricky one, but you've got to make quick decisions and it's not... at that point all you want to focus on is putting the perfect lap together, not 'who do I need to pass at the last corner.'"