Perez took the lead at Turn One but came under pressure from Verstappen on the run towards Turn Three, moving over on his team-mate, who took to the grass and was forced to get out of the throttle.
Verstappen dived down the inside of Perez at Turn Three to retake the lead, and neither driver was happy with the other on the radio.
The visibility was a factor in it. Although it was raining a little bit, with these big tyres it is really difficult to see anything,” explained Perez to Sky Sports F1.
“I got a good start but I had a bad Turn One so I tried to protect my line but didn’t see Max was alongside me. He went onto the grass but then I think we both went a bit too much over the limit.
Verstappen insisted there was no issue between himself and his Red Bull team-mate after the pair immediately discussed the incident in parc ferme.
“My start wasn’t good, I had a lot of wheel spin somehow,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1. “But then I had a good run out of Turn One and was going to go fully alongside because of the traction I had out of the corner and suddenly I got squeezed onto the grass and almost lost the car.
And again in the back of my mind with what happened today [Dutch driver Dilano van ‘t Hoff being killed in a Formula Regional crash at Spa] had I been stationary there or sideways it could have been a big shunt so at the time of course I wasn’t very happy.
“Then after the race you talk about it and Checo said he couldn’t see me so I trust his word of course about that. It’s super easy to create these kind of things. Immediately we walked in to have a little chat about it.”
In the press conference Verstappen was keen to play the incident down: “We spoke about it. When the moment happens, you don’t know why it gets to that. But after the race we talked about it and it’s all good.”
There have been some tense moments between Verstappen and Perez over the last 12 months, but the pair have largely enjoyed a harmonious relationship.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also played down the incident as both drivers quickly spoke about the near-collision just moments after jumping out of their cars.
“They’ve spoken about it. I think Checo had Max maybe unsighted there on the right-hand side. Thankfully they didn’t collect each other and a 1-2 finish is a great result for the team,” said Horner.