Pull your heads in

Sunday Herald Sun - - Motorsport -

THINGS Red Bull.

The team ap­pears to be putting a limit on the free­dom it gives its driv­ers af­ter they crashed into each other in the last For­mula One race, in Azer­bai­jan.

Daniel Ric­cia­rdo and Max Ver­stap­pen know Red Bull is not go­ing to sit and watch again as they bang wheels and risk crash­ing out.

They said be­fore this week­end’s Span­ish Grand Prix that there won’t be team or­ders, but Red Bull will in­ter­vene if it feels the driv­ers’ ac­tions are hurt­ing the team. Both driv­ers left Baku with zero points.

“If it got to that point again, where there’s bang­ing wheels and stuff, then yeah,” Ric­cia­rdo said.

“We are not go­ing to have team or­ders, but if we find our­selves bat­tling too hard or los­ing time to the oth­ers, es­pe­cially if maybe there is a faster car com­ing through, then the team will step in be­fore we start bang­ing wheels again.”

Ver­stap­pen said that, al­though no spe­cific new rules were in place, he ex­pected the team to be more proac­tive.

“If it’s like Baku again, maybe at one point the team will say, ‘ OK, maybe calm down a bit, just fol­low each other that last few laps,’ I don’t know,” Ver­stap­pen said.

“In gen­eral, they still trust us and we also un­der­stand that we don’t want that to hap­pen again.”

Ric­cia­rdo had a tough start in Spain, crash­ing into a tyre bar­rier in the first prac­tice and los­ing a lot of track time.

But he fin­ished with the sec­ond-quick­est time in the af­ter­noon, be­hind Lewis have changed at Hamil­ton of Mercedes and just in front of Ver­stap­pen.

“The mis­take this morn­ing was a costly one and I missed the fi­nal hour of the ses­sion be­cause of it,” Ric­cia­rdo said. “We have found some pace, there is still a bit more to find.”

He was faster than Ver­stap­pen in Azer­bai­jan but couldn’t pass his team­mate.

As he tried to force his way past at the end of the front straight, Ver­stap­pen closed up and Ric­cia­rdo couldn’t avoid the col­li­sion. Nei­ther took full blame for the crash.

“We all talked about from all dif­fer­ent points views,” Ric­cia­rdo said.

Com­ing off a win in China, Ric­cia­rdo said maybe he should have in­sisted on the team telling Ver­stap­pen to let him pass.

“I was say­ing, ‘I can go fast- it, of

TONIGHT, 11PM

er,’ but I was not shout­ing,” Ric­cia­rdo said.

The crash left Ric­cia­rdo fifth and Ver­stap­pen eighth in the driv­ers’ stand­ings.

The driv­ers vis­ited Red Bull’s head­quar­ters in England af­ter the Azer­bai­jan race and apol­o­gised to the team.

“We sent our apolo­gies and told them it won’t hap­pen again,” they said.

Max Ver­stap­pen and Daniel Ric­cia­rdo are on speak­ing terms as they pre­pare for to­day’s Span­ish Grand Prix and (be­low) Ric­cia­rdo dur­ing prac­tice at the Cir­cuit de Catalunya. Pic­tures: GETTY IM­AGES

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