There is a philosophy that has prevailed since the advent of motor racing as a team sport – Always beat your teammate.
In the current Toro Rosso scenario – where the two drivers in the Red Bull junior team are also candidates for the highly coveted second seat in the senior team – the pressure on Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne has been turned up several notches.
Reflecting on the Canadian GP weekend Ricciardo admits that he left Montreal frustrated with the outcome of his race relative to his teammate. Vergne finished sixth with Ricciardo down in 15th.
“Like any racing driver I’m very highly motivated to compete with my teammate, so having such a poor race when Jev had an excellent one adds to the frustration,” admitted the 23 year old.
Typically he looked on the bright side of the situation. “Looking past that, his [Vergne’s] result is really positive for us. The team is really pumped up and we all know that, when everything’s working as it should, we’ve got a really fast car that’s capable of fighting for good points. That’s a nice thought to take away.’
Monaco, two weeks before Montreal, was also an unhappy hunting ground for Ricciardo where again he played second fiddle to Vergne. The Australian suffered a DNF, victim of Romain Grosjean’s moment of madness exiting the tunnel, while Vergne gave a good account of himself to finish eighth.
Ricciardo admitted, “It’s very frustrating because these last two races are probably my two favourite tracks on the calendar and they’ve turned out badly. You can over-analyse this stuff. I tend to stay at the track late, early in the weekend, trying to understand everything so I can pull the most out of it. That makes it more frustrating when it doesn’t work out like you expected.”
“I think the best thing for me now is to do the opposite, and try not to think about F1 for a bit. So I’m off over the border for a few days for a break with my family. I’ll be back in the UK at the weekend, and get back in touch with the team in Faenza then,” said Ricciardo.
Currently Ricciardo lies 14th in the championship with seven points, Vergne is 12th with 13 points. (GP247)
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