Lewis Hamilton questions Max Verstappen's maturity

Max Verstappen blamed a sudden spike in engine power for his Bahrain qualifying crash

Dutchman Max Verstappen has reacted calmly to heavy criticism from Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton over a collision between the two at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, saying the Briton was acting in the heat of the moment.

Hamilton was heard calling the Red Bull driver a "d***head" during a private conversation, picked up by microphones in the drivers' room, shortly before the podium ceremonies.

"Being out so early in a race is really the worst feeling, especially when it's a night race".

When asked about it later in the news conference, race victor Vettel, seated alongside, came to his title rival's defence.

"Can I answer that?"

"And I don't know if they're inexperienced or not totally mature decisions, but [Red Bull] are not getting the results they should".

'So I don't think it's justified to give us these kind of s*** questions and making up a story out of nothing, if we are just racing and we are full of adrenalin and sometime we say these things.

I said I was in control. So, don't take it personal, but I think we should cut it right there'.

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The Red Bull driver was on the inside in the middle of the turn and ran to the outside to squeeze Hamilton, whose front wing then clipped his left-rear wheel. So we ended up touching.

"I lost all power, I had nothing", Ricciardo said. Bottas was the only other driver to run on softs during qualifying, and managed to outpace his teammate by just over a tenth of a second.

Sebastian Vettel won the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. The Dutchman is now into his fourth season in the sport and has already been tipped for greatness having won three races thus far.

Vettel, 30, now leads Hamilton by 17 points with 19 more races to go.

Meanwhile, Verstappen suffered a flat tyre after a collision with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

"If you haven't spoken about it and set up a strategy to action what you need, the guys are stressed in the garage because they have messages from the pitwall, messages coming from both sides, it's stressful for someone like "Bono" - and then I come in". The latter tried to overtake Hamilton early in the race and pushed him out wide forcing contact.

Sitting beside Vettel, who he battled in an often-fiery 2017 campaign, Hamilton did not address the journalist's remarks directly but went on to accuse Verstappen of showing a lack of "respect".

The points were the first of the 22-year-old Frenchman's Formula One career in his seventh start. He was later taken to hospital, with a fracture of the tibia and fibula.

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