Ricciardo: I should've raised qualifying worry sooner

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Daniel Ricciardo admits he should have raised his concerns about the Red Bull Formula 1 team's Austrian Grand Prix qualifying plan before the session, after his disagreement with Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo slowed on track and tried to get Verstappen to overtake him in Q3 as he felt it was unfair that he did not get the benefit of a tow on any of the team's three runs.

Red Bull alternates which driver runs ahead in qualifying from race to race, and Austria was Ricciardo's turn.

Asked if he felt he had been 'stitched up' by the team, Ricciardo replied: "During the heat of it all, I thought so. I've had a few discussions since, with Christian [Horner] and with my engineer.

"I had my concerns, but I probably expected some of that to have been obvious and I didn't bring everything up before qualifying, thinking that it was just a bit more obvious than probably it was.

"I probably should've just talked about it more beforehand.

"I had concerns. I spoke a little bit with my engineer about it, but I guess as a team it wasn't discussed so from their point of view once we got into Q3 and saw us playing cat and mouse they were like 'what's going on? No one talked about this so what are they doing?'

"But in my mind, it's obvious what's happening, isn't it? Let's give me a run where I'm getting a tow instead of giving everyone my tow."

 

Ricciardo accepted Verstappen refusing to swap places in the circumstances.

"I guess if we'd committed to it before, if we'd made it black and white before qualifying and said 'alright on the third run, you've got to do this, Max' then I could be a bit more upset," he said.

"We both knew what was going on but I guess the competitor in us is not wanting to give an inch. I'm not mad at him for that, that's just how it goes."

Asked if he would have voluntarily swapped track positions with Verstappen had roles been reversed, Ricciardo replied: "I guess not" and said it was the team's place to intervene.

"We obviously both don't want to give an inch. Fair enough. We both want to beat each other," he said.

"So I was like 'OK, can the team step in and swap us or send him out first or something?' That's where I was frustrated because I knew the mind games in a way.

"As long as I kept getting sent out first, it wasn't going to change. What seemed obvious for me at the time was probably a bit chaotic on the pitwall."

Red Bull trailed Mercedes and Ferrari on Saturday - Verstappen and Ricciardo only fifth and seventh on the grid with Romain Grosjean's Haas between them.

"We're losing out down the straights more than we thought and not gaining that much in the corners," Ricciardo admitted.

"I don't really know why. We kind of just seem slow."

Additional reporting by Ben Anderson

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Track Red Bull Ring
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo , Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Breaking news