Lewis Hamilton has continued his row with Max Verstappen and taken another shot at the Dutch driver by declaring that his immaturity on track is costing Red Bull Racing valuable points in the Formula 1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship.

The Mercedes driver fell further behind title rival Sebastian Vettel after finishing third at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, while the Ferrari driver went on to take his second victory in as many races this season.

The outcome could have been much worse for the Briton had the contact with Verstappen been bigger following a late lunge from the Red Bull driver. The latter tried to overtake Hamilton early in the race and pushed him out wide forcing contact. Verstappen suffered a left rear puncture after the coming together and later retired from the race owing to damage sustained to his car’s diffuser, but Hamilton was able to continue and limit the damage by finishing third after starting in ninth place.

The 20-year-old driver, who is tipped by many to be a future world champion, was annoyed that Hamilton was not handed a penalty by the stewards. But the four-time world champion, who saw the video after the race, clearly laid the blame on the Red Bull driver, and his view was shared by former racers and the television experts covering the race.

Even Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal labeled it a hard racing incident and Hamilton believes it is Verstappen immature actions on the track that is costing them a chance to gain valuable points and challenge Ferrari and Mercedes for the titles.

Hamilton has also called on Verstappen to respect his fellow drivers and believes his decision making will improve with experience. The Dutchman is currently into his fourth season in the sport and has already been tipped for greatness having won three races thus far.

“It is interesting to hear Christian has said that because they have a car which should be getting good results, but through inexperience, or not mature decisions, they are not,” Hamilton said after the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, as quoted by the Daily Mail. “Max should have had a decent race. If (McLaren's) Fernando (Alonso) was in their car, he would have got points for Red Bull. If I was in their car, I would have got points for Red Bull."

“I hope he (Verstappen) is learning through these situations. I went through that when I was younger so I know how it is. It is easy to get ahead of yourself and forget to respect the other guys that you are racing against,” he said. “While he has fantastic pace, as youngsters, we do not always make the right decision. I looked at the replay again and my opinion hasn't changed."

“It could have been a big, big blow in the championship but fortunately it wasn't,” the Briton added.