Daniel Ricciardo called Sebastian Vettel’s complaints about his attacks in Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix “typical” after missing out on a podium finish at Barcelona.
Ricciardo led 31 laps of the race following the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on the first lap, but he fell to fourth with a three-stop strategy, while new Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen took victory ahead of fellow two-stopper Kimi Raikkonen.
Ricciardo spent the closing laps attacking Vettel, who also three-stopped, including a pass into Turn 1 that he was not able to make stick.
Vettel complained about that move on the radio, saying, “What is this, racing or ping pong?” Ricciardo was not impressed with his former teammate’s attitude.
“Apparently he said I was a bit aggressive on the radio. Typical,” Ricciardo said. “Unlike 99 percent of the drivers on the grid I actually tried to make an overtake. A lot of them are content sitting behind and not actually having a crack.
“I tried a few times but it didn’t work. But I wasn’t content sitting in fourth. Knowing we were catching the cars in front and Seb was in our way for a podium and a potential win, of course I was going to try – I gave it a go.”
Vettel was calmer about their battle afterward.
“It was once hairy in the first corner,” he said. “In that instant I was on fire and complaining because if I didn’t play according to his move, there would be a crash.
“Then again, it’s racing. The one chance he had was when I had a bad exit and he has to go for it. I have raced him many times and it’s good fun.”
STRATEGY ‘DIDN’T MAKE SENSE’
Ricciardo questioned Red Bull’s decision to make him stop three times, while Verstappen and Raikkonen finished first and second making only two stops.
“We were leading and then it was there for us. The race was in our hands,” Ricciardo said. “We went to a three-stop strategy, and we did it too late as well. Seb had already jumped us [also on three stops].
“We know we’re down on speed and it’s a hard track to pass on. It just didn’t make sense. I thought at the time when we did it it’s because everybody else was going to [three-stop] but they didn’t.
“It’s frustrating because we just threw the win away. I don’t understand why I was the one… normally the guy in the lead gets the better strategy but it didn’t work out today.
“I definitely don’t want to sound like a bad sportsman – Max won today in his first race with the team. Whatever happened on track, he still crossed the line in first. It’s a big day for him, so congratulations.
“Sure I’m bitter right now – not with Max, not at all, just bitter at the situation.”