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Ricciardo: Not attacking Mercedes would be "fixing" the championship

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Ricciardo: Not attacking Mercedes would be "fixing" the championship
By:
Nov 13, 2016, 1:41 PM

Daniel Ricciardo thinks he and teammate Max Verstappen would effectively be 'fixing' the Formula 1 world championship if they did not attack Mercedes in the final races.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Qualifying top three in parc ferme (L to R): Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1, second; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, pole position; Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, third
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Fernando Alonso, McLaren F1
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are locked in an exclusive fight for the world championship, and there has been a lot of interest about the potential influence either of the Red Bull duo could have in deciding the outcome of the title battle.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has even found himself at the centre of a controversy in Brazil over a phone call he made to Jos Verstappen regarding his son Max.

Reacting to the fallout of the Wolff call, Ricciardo felt it was wrong for anyone to suggest he or Verstappen should stay out of the title fight.

"As a concept I don't think that is right," he said. "I understand it from a respect point of view but you have to race. What is different from now to Melbourne at the start of the year?

"We are all racing, trying to maximise our position. In a way, if it is like if we don't attack or we don't go for an opportunity, in a way we are fixing the championship by not doing that.

"The championship should be an accumulation of all those races and whatever happens, happens. I completely see the respect side of it. But it doesn't mean we should not try to do something if we can."

Ricciardo said he would expect his team to be unhappy if he just sat back and let Mercedes play it out alone at the front if he had the opportunity to get involved and grab a win.

"It is not fair on anyone I guess - particularly the team," he said. "Me personally the last thing I want to do is just hang back and watch it all unfold.

"If we are in a position to fight it is going to be in a nice position. It will probably mean there is some rain on the track but sure, if there is a move which is there and I don't feel it is going to take any of us out I will do it.

"If we are talking about a race win I am going for it. I am not going to do a Kamikaze and take us both out, but if I feel it is a move I can make stick we will make it."

Wolff doing job

While Wolff's call to Verstappen has been a big talking point, former world champion Fernando Alonso has suggested that there was nothing too unusual in what he did.

"Toto is doing his job," said the Spaniard. "There are two guys driving at the maximum, there are mechanics changing tyres in less than two seconds, and there is the team principal trying to win the world championship."

But McLaren teammate Jenson Button was not impressed at the suggestion Wolff urged Verstappen to not get involved in the title battle.

“I know that they race on their own most weekends, but it’s a shame if that is correct, if that is true," he said. "We’re here to race, it’s not just those guys.”

  

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