Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Ricciardo accuses Red Bull of unfair treatment after radio row in qualifying

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo accused Red Bull of not treating him fairly during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Both Ricciardo and team mate Max Verstappen were heard in dispute with their race engineers during the session. Ricciardo was told twice to “get on with it” and Verstappen refused an instruction from the pit wall to overtake his team mate.

After the session Ricciardo indicated he wanted to be given the benefit of running in the slipstream of his team mate’s car.

“I’m not too impressed to be honest,” Ricciardo told Sky. “We had three runs and I was just punching a hole for everyone. If he got one run, fair enough. I’m not happy that’s all.”

“We could’ve been more fair.”

However Verstappen said the team stuck to its usual arrangement this weekend.

“We always agree before the weekend who is going in front,” he said. “I was going in front in Paul Ricard, he was going the race before that in front. So we just discussed that, 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.”

“Of course we want to do the best qualifying performance, and of course we want to beat each other, and of course you want to take advantages from that. If [the team] say you have to drive in front the whole of qualifying, you have to do it.

“That’s why I did it in Paul Ricard. Of course it’s Daniel’s turn here. We always try to have the best possible position but between Daniel and I it will be all good.”

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Red Bull’s team radio messages in Q3

To Ricciardo:OK mate you need to pick it up otherwise we’re not going to get another lap, let’s go.
Ricciardo:There’s no point me running.
To Ricciardo:Get on with it.
Ricciardo:Punching a hole.
To Ricciardo:Get on with it.
Ricciardo:Let’s at least go one for one.
To Ricciardo:We’ll get a go on the next one.
Verstappen:What’s going on?
To Verstappen:Overtake him mate, just overtake him.
Verstappen:No. Last weekend I was in front, now he is in front.
To Verstappen:Max, overtake him mate,
Verstappen:No. It’s discipline
Ricciardo:I guess we’re not going one-for-one.
To Ricciardo:Got to get a lap in, mate.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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70 comments on “Ricciardo accuses Red Bull of unfair treatment after radio row in qualifying”

  1. Sounds like much ado about nothing. Ricciardo was all over the place and this probably wasn’t the reason. But with Red Bull pretty desperate to keephim it’s an interesting side bit to see how they handle this.

    1. 0.2s or whatever the tow advantage is not much ado about nothing. In addition Max is 2 spots ahead for the race.

      It might have helped the team, but would have done nothing to help Max.

      1. Like someone said in the past, what goes around comes around :)

        being this young and snob, will not help him earn friends who may help him down the road…

      2. It helped Max to get ahead of Grosjean. It isn’t sure whether Daniel would have been ahead of Grosjean if he got the tow, but Max would have had to start behind them both then.

        1. A deal is a deal, RIC is not feeling well in that team anymore. He has got to go! But where?

    2. From what Verstappen says, it seems a pretty basic-to-understand arrangement and Ricciardo was simply plain wrong. which is why Red Bull very clearly told him to get on with it. So what’s weird/interesting is why he ‘forgot’ and generated a problem with his team.

      1. Multi 21!?

  2. Hmmm. Trouble in paradise?

    1. @osella-alfaromeo rumble in the jungle :) game on…

  3. Well if the deal is like Max sais, it’s a little strange from RIC

    1. Sounds like in the 1st run in Q3 RIC was promised he’d get a tow in a next run, but that then didn’t happen (wasn’t going to?) – of course, with him already being down and Haas doing so well, it bubbled over I suppose. Still, Max did sound quite petulant there, even if he seems to be in the right in principle.

      1. Well…..he was in his right tbh

      2. No there wasn’t such a promise .. you simply making that up. Horner was very clear on that in his interview after the race on Sky https://twitter.com/SkySportsF1/status/1013067652842053633

        1. @arnoudvanhouwelingen He said “sounds like”, which isn’t a statement of fact, but rather a suggestion which could very well be wrong.

    2. @anunaki I have the same feeling. Seems like a reasonable argument. I think it’s all got to do with Ricciardo’s contract having an influence…

      1. This, Ricciardo is trying to force ‘advantages’ within the team, using his contractual position. Either he is looking for an excuse of an unfair advantage for Verstappen (and thus use that to move to another team) or he is actually trying to get something out of it; becoming the dedicated number 1 within the team, alpha male behaviour.

        Verstappen was right to claim his ‘tow’ if that has been the deal each weekend.

        Ricciardo was on a higher downforce setup, so I think he feels him getting the tow would have been much more benefitial than Max getting the tow. But that shouldn’t matter. It is his choice to go for more downforce. That choice doesn’t mean the other driver should change his strategy to Ricciardo’s liking.

  4. Nobody wins in situations like this;
    F1 is a constructor championship, but I’d like to see one driver teams.

    1. Watch Ferrari then!

      1. Woof :)

  5. Having now seen the Sky interview with Horner, this is very odd from Ricciardo. Clearly have a policy which the drivers are acutely aware of. Is this Ricciardo looking to see what leverage he has, or at 6-3 worried about his performances?

  6. I think because they did 3 turns in Q3 Daniel hoped he could get 1 from Max. That wasn’t agreed on so that is probaly the miscommunication.

    1. Yep @macleod, that’s my impression too – of course, then Verstappen effectively would have had a disadvantage over the year (because RIC would have one ‘run’ behind more [wait, how do they do that with the 21th race?] ).

      Makes me wonder how big of a difference it makes, bc. VER was already ahead of GRO, while RIC wasn’t; from a team standpoint, and from ‘being magnanimous’ (though yes, that didn’t work out so great for Massa), I think VER maybe should just have let RIC have that, and still beat him, would have been much stronger. But oh, well, he’s behind in the points/race finishes, so maybe not?

      1. If Max had let DR just have that, DR would just take every advantage over Max going. F1 is all about having every advantage you can, in quali you need to be the last guy running and if you can get a tow from your team mate then even better.

        Next event is Max’s turn to lead and he won’t be complaining on the radio that DR should have a go doing the towing if it wasn’t pre agreed.

        1. @9chris9 races start on sunday… this is a team game for the bigger part… if horner backs up max’s decision, he is a horrible team boss. instead of trying to get both cars good position in the race, he backed up a silly argument.
          Fair game would be one each giving eachother a tow. if they benefit or not up to drivers… what if ric didnt get any good lap? they re throwing points away for the sake of a fav boy and Ric’s contract is soon… If he were to make a decision, he will def consider this… i hope he moves to McLaren replacing Alonso… for better or worse…

          1. @mysticus

            I’m not sure you understand F1 but effectively the race started today at qualifying for start positions. Cars are in parc ferme meaning no changes are permitted. Track starting position is crucial hence why we have qualifying. It could have been done tomorrow but it’s better for tv and ticket sales if done the day before.

            Horner had to back Max up because that’s how they’ve operated for the last 7 years and that’s what they and both drivers agreed before a wheel was turned this weekend. DR wanted to switch things around today at the last moment which was against the grain when Max thought and expected things to be as agreed pre weekend.

            If DR is prancing about with his big boy pants on demanding this and that then maybe it’s time he moved on to allow those with more discipline to get on with it.

          2. @9chris9

            Sure mate i m not as experienced as you are… sorry didnt know saturdays were racedays, i thought saturdays are called qualifying and sunday is the race…

            I heard horner of saying not favorite drivers, but if they back up one driver over the other, then they have issues running the team like ferrari does… today races are more team effort than before, and people who ignore that always have internal problems…

            DR was asking for help from team/mate, his teammate maybe right to bring front driver agreement but you dont have be ignorant/silly doing it, because what goes around comes around… If you think MAX is in a position or the person to talk about discipline, F1 as I know, is dead… Maybe that is the F1 you understand?

          3. @mysticus No, you have it wrong. Max was only following the protocol the team has set up that exactly ensures fairness throughout the season for both drivers. Next race weekend it goes back to Max’s turn to come out first in quali. Simple.

          4. @mysticus

            It’s a race weekend, qualifying is an integral part of the race. Quali and race was in the past on the same day, also there used to be more cars wanting to race than the max number permitted to race and quali was a way to whittle the numbers down, no quali position no start. No points for quali but it’s harder to win from last than pole.

            Re team discipline, as @robbie has written & Christian Horner has said, the current procedure has been in place for the last 7 years and ensures fairness. DR wanted to change this at the last moment without proper agreement from the rest of the team.

            Max has got a lot of flack for many things and all he wants is consistency and fairness in and out of his team, DR wanted things to be more in his favour to the detriment of Max.

          5. @robbie i didnt say max wasnt following protocol, to be fair, if you re given one tow , where as you have to drag your teammate 3 times in a row in the next is a bit unfair protocol… give them each turns, problem solved… he asked his team and mate help, if you think thats unfair, this is not a team sport then… i think this will bite them back later on…

            @9chris9 race week yes, race is on sundays, it is called qualifying on saturdays for starting positions, they dont have qualifying races in F1, they have qualifying runs! please learn what you are talking about. you are saying too much mumbo jumbo… Dont talk about fairness in a red bull, they always favor one driver, if you dont know that you are watching mickey mouse too much maybe…

  7. Not the 1st time he has been treated like trash by that team. Sadly he doesnt have any options for next year.

    1. It seems the permanent party mode of RIC wasn’t working today either. He was very un-Ricciardo like in the post Q interviews. Didn’t even show some white teeth …..

      I guess he feels things are not coming his way at the moment. Has to stay at RB but knows he will be not their number one driver. And then performing below par today doesn’t make it any better.

    2. ?? It’s Ricciardo being the petulant child in this case….don’t turn it around

      1. Some commentators will argue night is day despite all the evidence showing otherwise.

        It’s interesting seeing something like this happening to someone who isn’t Hamilton and seeing how the crowd reacts.

  8. Look, I’m a Ricciardo fan, so please note that I will have a latent bias. I will try regardless to be even-handed.

    I agree with Max that it’s just discipline to do what was agreed between the drivers and the team. It was Ricciardo’s turn to be in front this weekend, so he should be in front.

    Ricciardo is obviously peeved and annoyed because having three runs in qualifying 3 doesn’t happen every weekend, so he wasn’t happy because he thinks he could have been given a single run behind (perhaps the middle one). This might have (reasonably likely) been enough to get Ricciardo into P6 instead of P7.

    That must be where the annoyance comes from. It is also likely that Daniel misinterpreted his engineer saying ‘We’ll get a go on the next one’ to mean the next run not the next race.

    That said, Daniel should have established a plan for Max to be in front on a single run before qualifying, not during it. If he tried to argue for this before qualifying and Red Bull and Max disagreed, then Daniel has no reason to complain.

    The real question is:
    ‘Why did Red Bull even ask Max to pass when an agreement was reached?’

    1. Because they were running out of time. I think they crossed the line for their last lap at 15 secs remaining.

    2. Yes, your final point is very accurate. Why indeed? Maybe to try and mend fences? Maybe because Verstappen was already ahead in the time sheets? It’s a good question which doesn’t speak well for their man management.

    3. @crunch – well said; on your real question: Likely because they were trying to get both drivers to just hurry up and get a lap in, since there wasn’t all that much time left to cross the line, wanting to avoid a ‘he goes, no he’ and then a ‘neither got a lap in bc. the flag fell, fudged that’ situation I think.

    4. ‘Why did Red Bull even ask Max to pass when an agreement was reached?’

      To not ruin the warm-up lap, i.e. running too slow means the tires wouldn’t be up to temperature for the hot lap.

    5. I think because Max his engineer was fed up with this kind of behaviour and asked Max to pass because either way he would have outQ’d Ricciardo

    6. Max would have been disadvantaged if DR had run behind in the 2nd run and then a red flag or something else prevented the 3rd.

      DR should have just got on with it and not be asking for no1 status. Only Seb got that. Multi 21 etc.

  9. An interesting aspect that I hadn’t noticed before. It seems a bit like a big story made out of nothing by Ricciardo, though. For some reason, he struggled quite a lot in the session as he failed even to beat one of the Haas-drivers.

    1. and he was a long way behind VER on Q2 both on SS. It can also be that RB needed to beat the HAAS and made Max their priority to do so as he has proven to be their better qualifier.

  10. Might work to his advantage.
    Look at the top 6, it wouldn’t be surprising if 3 of them don’t finish the first lap.

    1. Wow indeed, it’s 2x Mercedes, 3x Ferrari and a Red Bull. Only Ricciardo out of the mix. If the top 6 drivers would always crash in the first lap, we wouldn’t have seen so much boring parades the last 1.5 years.

      1. 3 ferraris? Leclerc then!

  11. More interesting point after this Q3: where was the party mode that Renault promised. VER said after the race that it wasn’t there or at least he didn’t notice any difference ….. Maybe a practical revenge joke of Renault with a fake button?

    1. Maybe Tag Heurer didn’t install the upgrade. :-)

  12. Who will Max crash on at the start?
    Make your bets gentlemen …

    1. I think you mean Vettel. He’s the only one top driver who crashes at the start. Or did you miss the last race?

    2. Mate this was old 2 races ago. I”ll eat my words if he does though

    3. Raikkonen

    4. Ah there we have our Anti Max Supreme…Jorge Lardone….can’t handle the fact Max is doing pretty good atm? Want to have a cookie?

      1. Hé Jorge: did you like the race today?

  13. Red Bull were poor today, seems the lack of Renault power hurt them with minimal new ‘qualifying mode’ gains. Considering Grosjean split them it’s a poor performance Saturday. Ricciardo was particularly weak and I expect the outburst was related to his own frustration.

    1. “Red Bull were poor today…”

      Didn’t you mean Ricciardo was poor today?

      1. No, he (and I) means (mean) that red bull were absolutely disappointing on their home track, I never expected them to take the fight to the other 2 top teams, but verstappen, the faster driver of the 2 in these circumstances, struggling to beat a haas is unbelievable, they race in another category than the top teams!

        1. Well being at home is no guarantee, and we are in fact looking at the team sitting alone in third in the WCC. And…the Haas placing is a bit of an anomaly unless we harken back to the start of the season when they did show this kind of form before. RBR has a great chance for another podium tomorrow.

  14. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
    30th June 2018, 17:53

    No update Keith?
    To the press Daniel already acknowledged he was wrong.

  15. I wonded if this is the first indication tht Ricciardo is leaving Red Bull??

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      30th June 2018, 18:39

      Ricciardo himself said it is just a moment of disagreement. He dismissed this as something that will make him any closer to wanting to go somewhere else. He’ll have moved on from the next race weekend. Maybe even by tomorrow. He’s had plenty of positives with the team this year.

      1. Oh for sure, I’m sure with the heat of the moment past he’ll only be doing himself a service, as is he trained, to quickly get past this and focus on the next thing, the race, knowing there’s absolutely no use sweating a couple of tenths he might perhaps maybe have gotten that would have seen him one spot up. Small potatoes really. Just odd behaviour to begin with.

  16. If it was Max not Ricciardo complaining like a little girl over nothing, the anti Max brigade would be here with their torches and pitchforks out hungry for some orange blood.

    Max is getting inside Ricciardo’s head, Austria makes tree weeks in a row that Max is outperforming Daniel and throwing his team under the bus will not help Ricciardo beat his teammate.

  17. So is this an indiction that RIC is leaving Red Bull? Otherwise I dont think it is RIC to complain publicly. I wonder.

  18. Guybrush Threepwood
    30th June 2018, 19:05

    I think Ricciardo did well to be less than 2 tenths from his team mate without a tow. Wouldn’t say it was that bad for him.

  19. Red Bull was struggling with the Ultras and Renault’s (we had a late night) party (at the factory) mode, that’s what put him on edge.
    Even Ferrari did not look that fast on the Ultras.
    Which makes their choice to use them for Q2 rather awkward. If they stop early they’ll have to use the Softs for a lot of laps, or make a second stop. Have they just handed 3rd and 4th in the race to Red Bull?

    1. I’m not sure red bulls can beat ferrari in any circumstances, the fact they struggled to beat haas was terrible for their usual pace.

      True red bulls are better in the races, but this looked like an early-2017 red bull, not 2018.

  20. This is definitely a sign that Ric is moving next year. He won’t be confident in the Honda, no one in F1 is. So he’ll be going elsewhere.

  21. I don’t think Ricciardo did himself a favor today, regardless whether he was right or wrong (the latter appears to be the case). Frustrated outbursts like this create the impression of a sore looser which won’t increase his popularity within RBR nor will it make him more attractive for other teams. Lets hope Verstappen will screw up his race as usual (with with fellow nutcases Vettel and Grosjean near him that is a safe bet) and Ricciardo gets on the podium again so this little incident will be forgotten by Monday.

    1. I don’t think Ricciardo is the first driver to have a bit of a hissy fit during an F1 weekend and won’t be the last.

      Max and Horner both seemed very clear what the deal was with which driver was first so it’s pretty weird Ricciardo decided to get so upset about such a minor thing which was as per their agreement anyway.

  22. Has any one thought that maybe richardo is more than a little disappointed that Merc and Ferrari second drivers seat is being decided by there number one considered drivers that don’t have possibly so much faith in there own abilities to team mate such as richardo ?

    Leaves little choice to richardo day with Redbull for less money than max or take the big dollars and possibly end his career with a team that struggles year in year out

    F1 should be about the best drivers in the best cars not spoilt world champions that think they are bigger than the team

    Bernie would not have let this happen

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