Pull your heads in
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
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