Ricciardo points the finger, hints at future team orders after Baku crash


As expected, as drivers hit the track ahead of the Spanish GP there was only one real topic of discussion: What happened at Red Bull after their drivers took each other out in Azerbaijan?

Ricciardo hasn't wasted any time, saying he had a gap that was taken away from him, leaving him a passenger and unable to influence the crash.

From RaceFans.net's coverage

“I definitely committed early enough and, at the time, with a clear inside,” said Ricciardo. “I’m then on the brakes and when you get the air taken away, you could see I tried to pull out of it but there was no real escape route after that.

“You lose all downforce and everything. Even the brakes, they lock a lot easier when you don’t have the downforce on. That was like the end result but it was due to that inside closing up.”

His comments would suggest that either the team agrees with his assessment of the incident, or at least hasn't told their drivers that they can't talk openly about it.

Although all angles have been considered, from what the drivers could have done to what the team could have done, the only clear takeaway from the comments is that all parties are doing their best to avoid inflammatory comments that escalate the situation.

Interestingly, Ricciardo has come of these discussions with the impression that — if the situation were to happen again — the team may use team orders to control the situation.

“I think if it got to that point again where there’s banging wheels and stuff then [they would]. Especially if the car [behind] is faster then you’d probably expect at some point they’ll [say] swap cars and release one of them. There’s no guarantee but that was one thing they certainly talked about.”

Perhaps it's because Verstappen is committed to the team for the coming years, while Ricciardo is shopping his services around, but the previous agreements where the faster driver is released with the understanding that if they don't progress up the field the position is given back seem like a distant memory.

Massa claims first blood over Ricciardo at inaugural Patio Racing Championship

The hype was inescapable and yachts lined the Monaco harbour hoping for a clear vantage point of the grudge match between Daniel Ricciardo and Felipinho Massa, bringing to a head a conflict that stretches back a number of years and has, at time, turned unsavoury.

Ricciardo came into the race with a number of question marks over his head, including whether his best days in patio racing were behind him, and just how his preparation had been effected by the maximum weight limit.

After claiming pole position with his trademark "scissors first, always" approach to qualifying, a perfect start for Felipinho saw him take the lead into the first corner. It's unclear whether wheel spin or the unfamiliar clutch setup on the tiny electric vehicles contributed most to Ricciardo's poor start.

"He's not a big dude, but Daniel's weight just meant he was too slow off the line," a journalist was overhead as saying.

On lap 2, a poor exit out of turn four saw Ricciardo lose the back end which affected his line through the braking zone as he began his third lap, but the damage was done and Felipinho finished his lap with a lead of 0:00:01.49 sec.

With no pitstops remaining there was little Ricciardo could do strategically to catch Massa, and - despite finding his groove in the final laps - Daniel had no answer for the pace of the rookie driver, eventually going down in a popular victory for the social media darling.

"How was it, you enjoy?" Felipinho was asked in the cool-down area. Overcome with emotion the Brazilian could only muster a humble yet playful response, "Yes!"

"What a gangster," Ricciardo said in consulary praise. "He's good, very consistent as well. I drove the perfect race." 

"Champagne!" demanded the winner, keen to soak in the spoils of victory. Even Kimi Raikkonen wouldn't have disapproved of the libation on offer, albeit non-alcoholic. 

Unlike Formula One, the race found a willing audience and was readily available streaming on-demand via social media.

The roof was jumping at the local play centre in Monaco as the plucky new-comer paints the town red in celebration.