Almost forgotten in the mist of the holiday surf was the collision between Red Bull teammates Daniel Ricciardo on lap one of the Hungarian Grand Prix, but it was the Aussie who suffered the brunt of the disappointment as he retired on the spot – not even halfway around the first lap of the race..
Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, he was asked by the official F1 website how he dealt with the Hungaroring disappointment as he headed off for the summer break, to which he replied with a laugh: “Marijuana!”
And added, “I think Max offered me a beer in the press conference… that is probably what they do in Holland. I tell you what: you look back and at that time you hate the whole situation and think ‘I want to speak to the media! Now! Let me get it all off my chest!’ But then, isn’t it better to wait a little bit? Maybe?”
“But then you think again: isn’t it good to let the fans see your emotions? I think that everyone who has a competitive bone in his body can understand the heat of the moment – and the frustration.”
“I had built up the whole Saturday to have a good race – and then it was over like that. That is frustration – pure! I had so much fuel still in me that needed to be burned.”
“After the engineers’ meeting Max and I spoke one-on-one in private and that was all I could ask from him. Sure, he couldn’t give me back my points. Sure, he could have given me some of his prize money. [Laughs] I am just kidding. He was sincere when we shook hands and I was satisfied with that,” recalled Ricciardo.
Asked if Verstappen needs to change his aggressive approach to his racing, the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix winner replied, “it was maybe a little bit like last year here in Spa: he was starting from the front row but didn’t get the best jump and tried to make it up straight away – and that didn’t work out.”
“So Budapest was not the first time he’s done that. Is it a weakness? I don’t know if it is a weakness. At the moment it is probably just youth. I am surely not trying to school him.”
As for the way forward with Verstappen as his teammate, Ricciardo revealed, “We are spending more time together. That is inevitable when you race for a second season together. I have also seen him more away from racing than last year. Last year he was a kid – now I see him as a young adult.”
“As I said, his apology was all I could ask for and the way we did it was not the kind where his manager was standing next to him or Christian [Horner] was between us. It was a one-on-one,” explained Ricciardo who lies fourth in the championship standings and will be looking for his second win of the season at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday.
Big Question: Will harmony within the Red Bull team between Daniel and Max prevail?