Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have been told that they are still free to race at Red Bull despite their Azerbaijan GP collision, but the battles must be “cleaner” and handled with more respect.
And the team have also warned the pair that they will intervene should things get “out of hand” again.
Verstappen and Ricciardo were battling for position for much of the last event in Baku and were involved in a race-ending heavy crash on Lap 40, with both drivers forced to apologise afterewards.
But team boss Christian Horner said he would be loathed to introduce team orders and Verstappen, speaking ahead of this weekend’s Spanish GP, told “That’s not how Red Bull is – and that’s why I like the team.
“We will race but with a little more margin – so I guess with a few millimetres more margin!”
Ricciardo, who was behind Verstappen in Azerbaijan before attempting the move into Turn One, added: “The first thing I said afterwards was that I still want to race.
“So we’re still going to race, but cleaner, with more respect – all that.”
But both drivers have also been warned that there cannot be a repeat of the incident.
“We’ll let them continue racing,” Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko told Auto Bild. “However, we will tell the race engineers in the future that they will have to intervene when we see that it could get out of hand.”
Verstappen and Ricciardo arrived in Barcelona in a relaxed mood and were embracing the start of the European season in F1 2018, particularly after their Baku inquest from Horner and Marko.
“It’s not nice to see your team boss angry but it was for good reason,” explained Verstappen. “As drivers we also understood it was not right.
“I think it was an easy conversation in one way because there’s not really a discussion. We all know it was bad.”
The Red Bull drivers are marking their two-year anniversary this weekend, having started their partnership at the 2016 Spanish GP – which Verstappen won.
They appear to have one of the most calm and fun-loving relationships from the outside, but has the Baku crash changed that?
“We apologised,” Verstappen insisted. “Daniel and I are good together, we have a lot of respect each other so we just try again.
“Daniel and I were OK. We looked at each other and said this is not good. But we immediately shook hands and agreed it cannot happen again.
“We have a lot of respect for each other and I think we like to race hard – that’s how we both are. We will keep doing that, of course with a little more margin.”
But though both drivers took the blame for the last race, Ricciardo also claimed he was “comfortable” with his actions.
“After the dust settled I watched it over and over,” he said. “I’m sure all the people who watched it over and over have a good view of it.
“I’m comfortable with myself.”
Can Verstappen recover form?
The Baku clash was another high-profile incident for Verstappen this season, with the Dutchman struggling to put together a clean weekend.
He is eighth in the drivers’ standings, and is without a podium so far.
But the 20-year-old also insists that he is not worried about his form.
“It hasn’t been the best but it also hasn’t been really bad,” he added. “It could always go worse.
“I know what to do, it’s just not coming out at the moment. I keep doing the same thing because it has worked in the past and it will work for me in the future.
“I’m not frustrated at all. Of course I’m not happy with how it has been going so far, but luckily I’m not slow. If I was slow I would be worried – so I’m not.”