Feeling unfairly treated by Red Bull at last year’s Azerbaijan GP, Daniel Ricciardo felt the team “deserved” the crash that put both drivers out of the race.
Racing against his then-Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen for position, the elbows were out at Baku.
Ricciardo, though, felt Verstappen was receiving a helping hand from the pit wall.
Red Bull didn’t order him to stop when he banged wheels with Ricciardo, nor did they tell the Dutchman to give a position back to his team-mate when Red Bull lost it for him in the pits.
The Aussie was furious as he hunted down his team-mate before crashing into the back of him as Verstappen moved in the braking area.
“I guess a few things came up to the surface after that,” Ricciardo said on Formula 1’s Beyond the Grid podcast when recalling the infamous clash in Baku.
“We touched wheels a few times where it was always Max coming into me as opposed to me going into Max. Part of me was waiting for the team to say ‘cut the sh*t’ but never really got that.
“I eventually passed Max. The undercut wasn’t powerful. I think the overcut was more powerful because of tyre warm up, so I pit first and eventually Max had come back out in front of me.
“So then I was furious as well, I’m like ‘guys, I’ve put all the hard work in, I’ve passed him and now he’s back in front of me, surely you are just going to let me go this time?’
“So I came on the radio to say something but my engineer was like ‘no, you’re racing Max’, which means no team orders, you have got to pass him again.
“To be honest, at the time of impact, I was just like ‘who cares? They [the team] deserve this’. That was my honest feeling. I wasn’t feel sad or angry that I’ve just lost points.
“I’ll say now. I was more just like ‘f*ck you guys’. I think everyone saw it [the crash] coming.”
The pivotal moment in Baku 💥
Ricciardo and Verstappen collide in dramatic fashion
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 29, 2018
Ricciardo wasn’t impressed with Red Bull’s handling of the incident and three months later announced he was leaving Red Bull for Renault.
Asked if Baku was the moment he decided to leave, he said: “Certainly, the week after that, yeah.
“I decided in my mind that I need to move on. But then you go to Monaco like a month later and I have like the highest of highs and start thinking ‘oh I was just emotional in Baku, we’ll figure it out.’
“But, for sure, Baku was a tough one for me to move on from.”