Accusing his rivals of deliberately balking him in qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo says it’s actually Carlos Sainz who is “always the culprit”.
Sainz was fuming with his rival Formula 1 drivers during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he accused George Russell of deliberately hampering him.
“So much traffic,” he told Ferrari over the radio. “I think the Merc did it on purpose. He did Turn 5 ahead of me, the Alpine Turn 2-3.”
‘I don’t know why he does it but he is always the culprit’
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Out in Q1 having been only 16th on the timesheet, he told the media including PlanetF1.com: “Between us drivers, we know that if you do a corner two seconds in front of another car, you’re going to make me lose a tenth or two in the corner.
“When it’s tight in Q1 and Q2, I see people giving a bit of third gear on purpose in some corners to maybe make the others lose some time in corners.
“We don’t consider [it] impeding because it’s not like you need to lift, but you’re giving him dirty air and you’re giving him a bad run in that corner.”
Ricciardo, though, reckons it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
“He is definitely… I don’t know why he does it but he is always the culprit,” the Honey Badger said with a laugh.
“I don’t know why. I don’t know if he’s just messing with us, but he definitely seems to be the one that everyone likes to talk about in terms of impeding and whatever.”
Told that Sainz claimed his lap was deliberately spoiled, Ricciardo quipped: “Oh, he’s gonna get what he’s given! But he started it.”
But it begs the question, do drivers do that?
“We know what we’re doing,” he replied.
“Like my approach is, if I do it to someone, they’re gonna do it back to me. So I’m like, I’ll try to be nice to everyone and hopefully get it back to me in a nice way.
“But, anyway, I just talked a bit of s**t on him. He doesn’t upset me in a while, but you mentioned it.”
Ricciardo, though, doesn’t play that game as he tries his best not to hamper someone else.
“Maybe the others are playing, but I feel like I’m doing a good job of trying to get out of people’s way,” he added.
“I think it’s more in practice as well when there is nothing on the line, that’s when probably we get most frustrated, as it’s like, OK, we’re honestly not fighting for positions in practice.
“So that’s where it probably upsets you more.
“I think in qualifying there will probably be a penalty but it’s more practice where maybe you feel they’ll get away with it and that when it rubs you the wrong way.
“But it’s alright. He’s good.”