The young Dutchman made contact with Nico Rosberg on the opening lap that luckily didn't cost the championship leader too much.
But three-time champion Lauda was all too aware of the possible implications of the incident.
"Nico was clearly in front," he said. "And Verstappen then rams him off the track. This could have cost Nico the championship. It is not acceptable.
"It's Verstappen's fault. He drives too aggressively. At some point, he has to realise it," he added.
Lauda also weighed in on the penalty applied to the Red Bull driver after the conclusion of the race.
Verstappen was hit with a five second penalty after leaving the track and maintaining position, and despite calls for Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton to receive punishment for a similar incident on the opening lap, Lauda insists the stewards made the right call.
"That was a just and right decision," he said. "A repeat offender like him has to be penalised."
"Helmut Marko (Red Bull's driver adviser) should talk to him. If he didn't drive that aggressively, he would develop much better," he added. "His talent is unbelievable, but then he smashes it all with these stupid actions."
"He doesn't realise -? he thinks he is doing everything right, but he doesn't. He has to calm down."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing