Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Ricciardo: Bottas should have tried turn one move on Vettel

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo said he watched the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix hoping Valtteri Bottas would make a last-lap attempt to pass Sebastian Vettel for the win.

The Red Bull driver retired from the race early on and watched the final laps from his hotel room. He said he wasn’t cheering for either driver in the fight for victory.

“I’m cheering for some excitement,” said Ricciardo. “I don’t mind if Seb wins or Valtteri wins, I’m not bothered.

“For sure I was watching, I was like ‘make a move’, go. Because obviously the fans want to see it as well. But he didn’t.”

Bottas feinted towards the inside of Vettel at turn one on the final lap but decided against making a move because he was too far back.

Ricciardo suspected Bottas was hoping to make a move at turn four, but said he should have committed at turn one. “Maybe in Valtteri’s head he was like ‘I’ll get him in turn four in the end’,” said Ricciardo. “For me the first opportunity you have to take. If he’d locked up and went wide, he’s still finishing second.

“I don’t want to tell him all my tips,” Ricciardo joked. “But I wouldn’t be content, if it was for a win, that’s not in me at least.”

Ricciardo says he doesn’t hold back from attempting passes if the driver he’s battling with has a reputation for being aggressive.

“My approach doesn’t change whether it’s a more aggressive driver or not, if I see the gap I go. I wouldn’t say I change the approach or say ‘he’s a lot easier’.

“If they turn in, it is what it is. I’d much rather try than sit behind and wonder.”

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Keith Collantine
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48 comments on “Ricciardo: Bottas should have tried turn one move on Vettel”

  1. Daniel Ricciardo is trying to say here that he’d be using better that second Merc seat. At least in my view. Of course, he was asked that question, but he elaborated it quite a lot. And I think he hopes to fill that second seat of Merc next year, because I can’t see Red Bull fighting for WDC, unless they hop in with Honda and Honda improves a lot, making even some ‘party’ mode.

    1. Honestly, those last laps of Bottas must have been so disappointing for the whole Merc crew. I think he truly blew it this time.

      1. On the other hand if he went for it and had a crash he would’ve actually blown it. And people would then say he shouldn’t have gone for it

        1. But there was no chance of a crash. Vettel knew he was coming and would have settled for second to preserve his title chances. Second to Bottas was alwayg going to be better than a crash and no points. Vettel is a smart guy.

          For me, that move was a no brainer. Send it up the inside. Vettel was waiting for it and would never have turned in on him. Bottas should have known that.

          In fact, I think Vettel knew Valteri wouldn’t try it. He barely even covered the inside line properly. I bet if it was Dan, Hamilton behind he would have taken more care in covering the line. If it had been Max behind, Vettel would have gotten off the track to make room for him so that a crash didn’t happen.

          1. I don’t think Bottas was close enough, thanks to the Ferrari’s straight line speed and Vettel getting his braking and turn in perfect at turn 1. In that situation, sending it up the inside would have just resulted in a collision. What Bottas or another driver could have done, is get a better exit and line up a move at turn 4.

        2. a crash for bottas into vettel would have been better for bottas… the world would respect him for trying to be a racer, and he would have taken points off Ferrari championship battle!

          1. the world would respect him for trying to be a racer, and he would have taken points off Ferrari championship battle!

            I think they’d neither respect him nor be happy with another Mercedes-dominated championship.

        3. On the other hand if he went for it and had a crash he would’ve actually blown it. And people would then say he shouldn’t have gone for it

          Ironically (and given that Both RB’s and 1 Ferrari were already out of the race) Bottas crashing into Vettel and taking them both out of the race would have been a better result for Mercedes than what they actually got, with a 25 point increase over Ferrari in the constructors championship (rather than the 8 point increase they got for 2nd and 3rd).

        4. Well, if he had done that, Hamilton would have won and would have overtaken Vettel at the top spot of the championship points standings …

          1. Don’t think either team wants to win the title that way, otherwise they’d always send raikkonen to crash into hamilton and bottas into vettel, every race.

          2. And there could be penalties too when FIA sees they’re doing that to penalize the opposite team’s top driver.

  2. My approach doesn’t change whether it’s a more aggressive driver or not, if I see the gap I go.

    And more often than not he pulls it off quickly and cleanly.

    1. Not usually against Seb, LH, or Max though. Usually against cars he should have been ahead of after quali to begin with.

      1. Haha Verstappen can’t manage to stay on track long enough to test that theory. Infact he may find himself back in Toro Rosso if he continues to fail at his current rate.
        As for the other two Ricciardo has already bested Vettel and he may well test himself against Hamilton next year in an equal car. Something that at this point in his short career Verstappen can only dream of.

        1. @johnrkh Max will never be back to an STR level team again in his career. For now he is RBR’s future. After all, he was passing no less than LH in his Mercedes last weekend, and he quite solidly outperformed DR last year, so hardly a ‘fail.’ Since it was Max that has signed up with RBR for a few years yet, I’ll assume he wasn’t interested in trying to go to LH’s team, nor SV’s, and would rather form RBR around himself. DR will presumably stay in a top ride, but wherever he ends up he’ll have a big hill to climb, but that’s ok, that’s good for us all, and I hope he really can apply pressure to LH, SV, or Max if he stays at RBR.

          I’m fine with DR but I can’t call myself a fan, but I do think he can and hope he does do well and provides some good excitement as a rival to a team’s natural number one this year and in the future.

          1. Solidly – finished behind him in the championship, with less retirements.

          2. Ross, less retirements doesn’t matter, it’s not that simple.

            You need to look at the amount of points lost through mechanical problems for both drivers, you’ll see verstappen come slightly ahead on actual points on 2017.

            The only reason he didn’t greatly outperform ricciardo in this metric is the all or nothing approach verstappen has, ricciardo risks less but brings home points more often.

      2. He pretty specifically said it didn’t bother him who it is… overtakes that come to my mind just now are top 5. But I’d guess, out of all the pack, the one driver that would concern him is the chap that decided to crash into him during the exercise in Hungary.

  3. ‘Hey Mercedes, I know a driver who would go for that sort of move and is out of contract at the end of the season.’

    -Daniel Ricciardo

  4. It’s a shame that Ricciardo’s car didn’t hold up because I’m still desperate to see how Red Bull compare to Mercedes and Ferrari over a race.

    As for the overtake-that-wasn’t, I have no doubt that Ricciardo would “make a move” in the same position. It was pretty strange that Bottas didn’t go for the move. The top three were so far clear that they probably could have limped home second and third missing a front wing (possibly even a wheel!). Was Bottas more concerned about securing a finish ahead of Hamilton than he was about taking the win?

    1. Probably not confident enough yet?

    2. You’re right about the front wing or even wheel, considering it was the last lap! About 1 min margin on gasly I think it was, you can definitely take the chequered flag in 2nd\3rd depending on who had the worst of the crash.

      I think red bull are roughly there with the top 2 teams, hopefully we can see it in china.

  5. Guybrush Threepwood
    12th April 2018, 12:32

    I think most drivers would have made a move, but at the same time it can’t be easy in Bottas’s shoes. He is on 1 year contracts with the grand piano dangling over his head at every turn. Couple that with a crash in the last race weekend and I can understand his mindset in wanting to avoid another incident.

    If he had gone for the move and taken both out it would almost definitely been over for him at Mercedes.

    1. Taking out both would have been the wet dream scenario of Lauda and Wolff. Bottas job is to take away points from Hamiltons opponents.

      1. Lol and would have handed LH 25. So they either don’t play that way, or VB genuinely just could not get close enough and for others to say they would have done this it that, including DR, is to not put themselves in VB’s shoes.

  6. I thought he had left the circuit before the end of the race as he was shown walking in the paddock with a backpack at one point, but I guess he, after all, just carried it with him for no apparent reason then.

    1. @jerejj he did leave the circuit, he

      watched the final laps from his hotel room.

    2. He did leave the track. He watched the race from his hotel room.

      1. @phylyp @freebird78 That explains it then. How could I have missed that part of the 2nd paragraph of the article, LOL?

        1. @jerejj It happens to the best of us :-)

  7. I wish Mercedes would hire Ricciardo. I wanna see him in a race-winning car. I think everybody wants him to do well. He’s just such a nice bloke.

    1. He’s had race-winning cars for the last 2 years.

      1. Yes, this year red bull might be a race winning car all season, not just some races in the end (azerbaijan’s winner on pace is hamilton), however with such a start of the season the championship is gone for red bull, but even just winning 6 races would be an improvement.

  8. Bottas didn’t force the overtake because he will replace Kimi at Ferrari, will still be a nº2 there, and he is already making them favours

    Brought to you by F1 conspiracy theories

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th April 2018, 15:33

      @johnmilk if you’re suggesting that this might cost him his ride at Mercedes, then you are probably right.

    2. Actually not bad theory at all.

      If Toto and Niki decide that DR>VB and decide to hire DR, there will be 2nd driver spot open in Ferrari. VB is more consistent and faster than KR so he could for sure be a solid replacement for KR.

      I am pretty sure that Leclerc is not yet ready for Ferrari seat.

  9. The move just wasn’t on for Bottas. I commend him for not trying something desperate and possibly ruining the championship. Mercedes have only themselves to blame: if they’d realised Vettel wasn’t going to stop again sooner, then Bottas would have taken an easy victory. He doesn’t have to do crazy torpedo stuff to make up for his team’s failure.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th April 2018, 15:37

      In football or soccer, they say that the best players show up in the big games. Like my idol Messi who didn’t show up in the game against Roma and couldn’t score 5 goals against them to put them in their place, Bottas also didn’t show up and depending on the point tally at the end of the year, Bottas’s failure to show up could cost them dearly.

      As least Ronaldo saved the day for Real Madrid and Marc Marquez, although playing pinball with Rossi and Aleix or Pol Espargaro, nearly won the race after a drive through penalty with Dovizioso staring in total disbelief when he passed him.

  10. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    12th April 2018, 15:31

    As much as I support Bottas, I’m afraid this will be the pivotal moment that will cost him his ride at Mercedes. He’s repeating his 1st season which is the worst he can do.

    If Vettel beats him (Bottas) in the WDC by 14 points, this will be the moment where he lost the WDC.

    If Vettel beats Lewis to the WDC by 7 points, this will be the moment that Bottas cost Mercedes and Lewis the WDC.

    Ditto for the WCC.

    Bottas had to force the issue and show that he’s a fighter. He chose to play it safe and that has probably cost him more than anything else because not only did he lose the race and we’ll see what impact it has on the championships, he has also lost respect as a racer (Lauda, Hamilton and Wolff who’s also married to a racer) and he’s going to have a hard time gaining that.

    Most likely he will overcompensate, go on tilt and make a mistake since he must be realizing like we are at this point that he’s checked out of Mercedes by now. He just found himself in the worst possible situation behind Vettel.

    1. While I don’t really think they are all that married to VB, hence his year-at-a-time contracts with them, I don’t put as much blame on VB for last weekend as on the team as a whole, for they didn’t release VB to go after SV until too late.

      I also don’t subscribe to Championships boiling down to one particular moment, unless of course the scenario is that it is the final race with the WDC between two drivers, and then a moment can be the decider, but of course one will always be able to harken back to the woulda, coulda, shoulda of the umpteen events that went on during the season to have it culminate in whatever ending the season shapes into.

      Back to VB, I think they really like him, but I don’t think he is going to be there next year, no matter what, perhaps shy of winning the WDC, which won’t happen, so I think it is neither here nor there with VB. He’ll be replaced.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        12th April 2018, 19:59


        , I don’t put as much blame on VB for last weekend as on the team as a whole, for they didn’t release VB to go after SV until too late.

        You’re right…but guess who will pay the price for that?

    2. I think he has been worst than the 1st season actually.
      he has a whole season there and he should be more confident on himself, the car and his hability to win races.

      2nd is never enough when the win in on sight as it was.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        12th April 2018, 22:40

        I still think that far too many people are being too harsh on Bottas. From what I read, the way some people put it makes it look like they think he’s one of the worst on the grid. (not pointing this out to you ed) It wasn’t totally luck that meant he was closer to Hamilton in the drivers championship than Rosberg was a couple of years in a row. And Given Mercedes are not dominant any more makes it much harder for Bottas. For his first year, overall he certainly was pretty impressive given he was against one of the most highly rated drivers on the grid. Rosberg was in his 7th year with Mercedes (with experience at Williams on top of that) before he managed to beat Hamilton in the points and that was with good luck on his side. Rosberg and Hamilton had several clashes over their time together. But over 2014-2016, this didn’t seem to matter that much as the team were so strong that it hardly cost them anything. If people notice, Hamilton seems more relaxed with Bottas, their team relationship is brilliant and they haven’t had any fallouts yet with any clumsy mistakes. Bottas, although he did get involved in a few incidents last year, was never blamed for any. And other than China, they didn’t cost him much in the way of points either. Hamilton most of the time had much better performance than Bottas, but in qualifying, had more weaker moments than Bottas, such as Monaco and Brazil. If a champion can make these mistakes, we should forgive Bottas for 1 crash in the first race of the season. Overall, I think Mercedes are better off with this pairing than they were with Hamilton and Rosberg. Hamilton and Bottas just seem to show a lot of respect for each other and I personally think this makes them a good line up. I may be in the minority here as I do actually think Rosberg was better than Bottas is now, especially in 2016. But they just seem very relaxed and I think Bottas will get better over the season. The first race and a close win just seems to be making everybody totally doubt him.

        I don’t know what was wrong if he played it safe at this stage in Bahrain. Mercedes expected Ferrari to be better and for Red Bull to be possible threats in the race too. Even Toto said after the race they had to admit they were lucky that the Red Bulls were not a threat. Bottas already managed to beat one of the better Ferrari’s throughout the race. 2 Red Bulls retired. One being ahead of Lewis making it easier. As well as Kimi retiring. Before the race has started, 2nd and 3rd will likely have been better than they were expecting. If Bottas has managed to be this close on one occasion, the team will probably know to let him go sooner if in a similar situation while at the same time, Bottas’s confidence may have built up. It wasn’t a big issue that he kept things safe without overtaking Vettel. Nobody can be absolutely certain weather any driver could have managed this. We can’t predict the unknown.

        I don’t quite know what stage of the season you are basing Bottas being worse than last year. If it is the first 2 races, he’s only got 1 point less this year than the last. And even if Hamilton had won in Australia a few weeks ago, Bottas would be 18 points behind. And by the 2nd race last year, Bottas was 20 points behind. So if anything, the fact he managed to out qualify Hamilton this last weekend and is closer in the points than last year, it isn’t that bad. Bottas has made just one costly mistake this year in Australia (and this is the first time he’s ever crashed out due to his own error in qualifying or the race in his entire career), but in terms of points, it was barely any different to what Hamilton did in Monaco during qualifying last year. Bottas and Hamilton both gained the same amount of place during these 2 races. Hamilton finishing 7th and Bottas 8th. Hamilton got nothing like the amount of criticism Bottas is now getting when he did that. If you just pick out 2 races last year that were poor for Hamilton, that was Monaco and Russia. They happened to be just 2 races apart. Bottas finished 8th in the first race. And missed a win by a fraction of a second in the next. It is too early to compare his season to last year.

  11. I think Bottas did exactly what we all expected him to do. Shy away from a 50/50 chance of a win/contact, and instead take it easy and bag the points. I don’t want to read too much into it, but even as Toto Wolff was justifying Bottas in the interviews afterwards, I thought he was clearly dissapointed in Bottas. I can’t say that it was stupid to play it safe and collect the points, but to me that approach is of a mid-tier drivers lacking in confidence, more concerned about bagging points for the team than the glory. Again, not at bad approach, but I think most would agree that most champions don’t approach racing that way.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th April 2018, 20:03


      even as Toto Wolff was justifying Bottas in the interviews afterwards, I thought he was clearly dissapointed in Bottas.

      That’s exactly how I felt too – I think TW likes Bottas and that’s part of the reason he brought him to Mercedes but if there was ever a moment to repay that confidence, it was at the race in Bahrain.

      Vettel rode to glory and Bottas rode to obscurity.

  12. Agris Rūmītis
    13th April 2018, 0:20

    as one Lad said above – Daniel Ricciardo is a Racer, Valtteri Bottas is a driver, matter sorted

  13. Did we expect anything different from Bottas? no offence to him but what we all know is Ricciardo would of put that Red Bull on the inside of turn one, no matter how far behind he was. Shame

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