Ricciardo unhappy at unfair qualifying tactics

30/06/2018
NEWS STORY

The grin was missing when Daniel Ricciardo was interviewed following today's qualifying session which saw him finish seventh quickest behind Romain Grosjean.

The length of the Red Bull Ring means that both Red Bull drivers were able to do three runs, however, the Australian feels that the team didn't play fair by not allowing him to slipstream his teammate.

Speaking at the end of the session, when asked how he felt after qualifying seventh, he replied: "I'm not too impressed to be honest

"We had three runs and I was just punching a hole for everyone," he continued, clearly referring to the slipstreaming process, "I think if you get one run fair enough, each... I am not that happy that is all."

Pushed a little harder to explain his unhappiness, he added: "We could have been more fair... we could have been more fair."

On his second run, though he left the pits ahead of Verstappen his visibly slowed to allow the Dutchman through. The Australian was then told to get a move on.

Asked about his teammate's comments, Verstappen told Sky Sports: "We always agree before the weekend who is going in front. I was going in front in Paul Ricard he was going the race before that in front.

"So we just discussed that," he continued, "this was his weekend to go in front. That's how it is, it's very simple. Every run in Paul Ricard I was in front, so we have to do the same here."

Radio exchange between Verstappen and his engineer reveals that as Verstappen came up behind Ricciardo, who had clearly slowed, the Dutchman asked: "What's going on?"

"Overtake him, mate," he is told. "Just overtake him."

"No!" replies Verstappen. "Last week I was in front, now he's in front. C'mon man."

"Max, overtake him Max."

"No! It's discipline."

"Just focus Max."

Ricciardo's obvious unhappiness comes at a time the Australian has yet to confirm his plans for 2019, and while his actions over the course of the weekend thus far have suggested that he is ready to remain with Red Bull, his comments about fairness - in light of the widespread feeling that the Austrian team is building itself around Verstappen - could signal a change of heart.

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Published: 30/06/2018
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