Daniel Ricciardo has backed Max Verstappen, in the aftermath of his clash with Lando Norris, insisting “nothing seemed over the top”.

Verstappen’s driving style is under the microscope heading into this weekend’s F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone after contact with Norris in Austria.

McLaren’s Norris saw his race ended early and he raged afterwards at his friend from Red Bull, who was hit with a 10-second time penalty.

“You’re fighting for a win so you’re not just going to wave someone by,” Ricciardo said at Silverstone, where Crash.net are in the paddock.

“I think the contact can happen probably nine times out of 10 with no consequence.

“They’d been going back and forth, maybe the angle was a bit awkward, Lando ended the race. I think the outcome was probably bigger than what was actually happening on track.

“What I saw at least, nothing seemed over the top. Was it pushing the edge? Probably.

“But was anything dangerous or reckless? At least from what I’ve seen, no. But…”

Ricciardo, a former Red Bull teammate of Verstappen’s, has endured his own on-track controversy with the F1 champion.

Six years ago in Baku, they clashed heavily and were both reprimanded by the stewards.

Ricciardo was asked if rivals must expect a fraught battle when going wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen.

“Yeah, of course. You know that, you have to expect that,” he answered.

“But I don’t even want to spotlight Max, I think when you’re fighting for a win, you fight for a win, are you going to fight harder than 15th place? Honestly, yes. Because it’s just how it is.

“I think it’s to be expected. And I’m not saying OK, whether everything was correct and by the book, yeah maybe some things were pushing it.

“They’re going to talk about it, because it’s for the win, and as I said, they’ll probably try and create some enemies out of two kids that get along.

“I think honestly, it’s good that there’s a hard battle for the lead. Unfortunately it ended that way for them, but that’s how it goes.”

‘No-one wants to get bullied’

Ricciardo was questioned about whether drivers must lay down the law to the aggressive Verstappen.

He said: “Look, no-one in this sport wants to be the one that gets bullied. You want to stand your ground against everyone.

“Obviously it’s your reputation as well. When people come up to you on-track, you don’t want them to think ‘oh this guy’s going to be an easy one for me’.

“So you always want to have your elbows out to an extent. We know Max from day one has always had his out, and I think just naturally his DNA, he just is a tough racer.

“It’s not something he has to really dig deep for. That’s just how he races. You know it’s kind of unconditional with him, that you’re going to get a tough battle.

“It doesn’t necessarily change the way you race him. You just know you’re going to have to pull off a really good move and make it stick, and I think Lando learned that on Saturday.

“He thought he probably had it done, and Max said no, not today. You live and you learn.

“Obviously then, Lando made some bold moves on Sunday, and had his elbows out too. Unfortunately, I think the outcome was what it was.”

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella insisted that Verstappen was not penalised heavily enough years ago, when he was battling Lewis Hamilton, allowing his style of driving to continue.

“It sounds like people are probably hammering Max a bit,” Ricciardo reacted.

“I don’t know if it… it sounds like it’s probably blown a little bit out of proportion.

“Like I say he’s unchanged, when I say he’s unchanged, I think it’s the way he goes racing.

“Obviously leaves it all out on the track, and that’s what a lot of fans have admired about him.

“But do I think he matured since the start of his career? Absolutely. It’s not like he’s finding himself in these positions all the time.

“I don’t think it needs any real addressing at the moment. Maybe the drivers’ briefing tomorrow, I’ll hear otherwise.

“As I said, you’re fighting for a win. It was unfortunate. I don’t think the incident they had was dangerous.

“It was fairly low speed, it wasn’t a Turn 9 situation here at Copse in ’21, that obviously had a lot bigger consequence.

“Look, if this goes on the next few races, and this is like ‘oh wow’, OK. I’m not sure if one race is enough to create a narrative of ‘oh, nothing’s changed’…”