Jolyon Palmer reveals the reason why Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen crashed in Baku

F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews

The opening four races to the 2018 Formula 1 season has arguably been the most exciting in recent years, and the drama continued to unfold this past weekend in Azerbaijan.

And the one huge moment from the Baku Grand Prix that left the F1 fans talking in their droves on social media was the coming-together of Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

The pair saw both their chances of winning the race ended in one moment when Ricciardo clipped the back of Verstappen's car, which saw both machines roll off the track and subsequently out of the race.

It prompted fury from the Red Bull pit wall, including from team principal Christian Horner. Unlike other teams, wheel-to-wheel driving is encouraged between the two, as long as it doesn't endanger each driver.

And F1 driver-turned-pundit Jolyon Palmer believes the smash came about from a lack of team orders from above, and from two drivers who are trying to prove they are the number one commodity at Red Bull.

“It was result of an internal dynamic that does not exist at Mercedes or Ferrari,” wrote Palmer on BBC Sport.

“At the two top teams, you get the feeling that there is a number one driver and a number two even if that is not the case contractually.

“Although both Kimi Raikkonen and particularly Valtteri Bottas have improved this year, the continued success of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton gives them a natural priority over their team-mates.

“At Red Bull, it's a very different situation. Baku laid bare the size of the problem that creates for the team. They have an internal battle between two of the most talented drivers on the grid, some would argue the best driver pairing.

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying

“But with that comes the intensity of each trying to prove their superiority in a fight that has been so close over the past couple of years."

Despite the two seeing themselves as equal in the Red Bull set-up, it is only wonderkid Verstappen whose contract was extended beyond the current season following a fantastic second half to the 2017 season.

The Dutchman took victories in the Malaysian and Mexican Grands Prix, which prompted Red Bull to commit to him, but the same could not be said for the Australian Ricciardo, whose contract expiry at the end of the current campaign has seen rumours circulate about his future.

And the fact that Ricciardo could be effectively seen as the team's number two driver with the contract developments panning out how they are could see him switch to another superpower in the sport

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix

“Verstappen is seen as the golden boy in the team. On the back of a fantastic run in the second half of last year, he got a lucrative multi-year contract extension, while Ricciardo did not," stated Palmer.

“The Australian will have felt a bit of pain from that. It clearly showed that the team's thinking, even if they did not say it publicly, that Verstappen was their best hope for the future and they wanted to tie him in.

“I’m sure Red Bull would love to keep Ricciardo as well, especially after the performance he produced to win this year in China, but they have left the door open for him to leave.

“The fight in Baku was for fourth and fifth places. Neither was going to finish higher than that unless someone else dropped out or there was contact. And there was no gain for the team whichever driver emerged ahead.

“From that point of view it was a relatively futile battle, for just two points. But the intensity of it belied that. It was a battle of egos, both desperate to assert themselves over the other.”

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