Engine key to Ricciardo's 2019 move says Horner

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Daniel Ricciardo has apologised to his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team for the Turn 1 crash between himself and team-mate Max Verstappen that took both RB14s out of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Ricciardo decided that cruising along at 180mph at Turn 1 of the 40th lap was the flawless opportunity to try and dive down the inside of his "teammate" but he broke late and ended up ramming into the back of Verstappen's vehicle.

"It is a tricky circuit, but it is the same for all of us", said Vettel.

"We will discuss it prior to Barcelona but we want to continue to allow the drivers to race". Unfortunately this was the culmination of two guys taking things into their own hands which shouldn't have happened.

Horner revealed both drivers would have to apologise to the team's staff at the factory this week - and in Mercedes' media briefing, Lauda was asked what he would do if he was in the Red Bull boss's position.

"Niki's perhaps more financially orientated than others", said Horner.

"That we will allow them to race plus, please, allow each other space". Horner, after initially refusing to speak to the media, was highly critical of both drivers but would not lay the blame squarely on one driver.

It is Verstappen's third collision in as many races with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and now Ricciardo.

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World championship leader and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was only 11th for Ferrari, but said he was not too concerned by his problems. Odds correct at time of publication.

Horner said the team didn't consider pitting Verstappen or Ricciardo to get them out of each other's way: "You try to do your best as a team and you don't want to penalise one driver over the other, so we tried to give them the optimal strategy".

However, their last battle ended in tears as Ricciardo went to pass Verstappen, the Dutchman blocked, and Ricciardo crashed into the rear of the sister Red Bull.

Ricciardo, heartbroken after the incident, said he was fully apologetic for the accident. "Of course the team was not happy about it, but we were not that happy about it either". "I will personally apologise to the team and once again I'm just sorry we are all in this situation when everyone has worked so hard to give us such a good vehicle".

A key rule, both to assist overtaking and prevent risky accidents, is that the driver in front may only make one move across the track when attempting to defend from a rival trying to overtake them.

It's tough to make any predictions after a insane Chinese Grand Prix but form lines suggest Ferrari and Vettel will once again be the ones to beat.

It was the Mercedes driver's first victory since the US Grand Prix last October.

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