Ricciardo: Baku clash contributed to Red Bull exit

  • 10 Mar 2019 11:33
  • comments 13
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo says that Red Bull's handling of the crash between him and former teammate Max Verstappen at Baku last year aided his decision to leave the team.

The pair fought closely throughout the race, but came together on lap 40, putting them both out of the Grand Prix.

Red Bull blamed both drivers following the incident, however Ricciardo affirms that Verstappen was at fault. In August, Ricciardo announced that he would be leaving the team for Renault, right when it was believed he would sign a contract extension.

Ricciardo stated that the crash in Azerbaijan wasn't a "deal-breaker", but it was something that he had major difficulty shrugging off.

"I struggled to let that go, the whole race and the aftermath," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "That played a part in my decision. I never really felt the same after that. As soon as I crashed into him, part of me felt, 'you guys deserved this, that was a shitshow'.

"If the roles were reversed, if I'd been in front and moved twice in the braking area and he'd run up the back of me, would things have been handled the same way? It was a question I kept coming back to.

"The team treated us as both equally at fault in that situation, where I think deep down they knew that it was their mistake and Max's mistake. A lot of things didn't sit well."

Ricciardo joined Red Bull in 2014, right after it won its fourth consecutive world championship. However, the energy drink squad struggled in the turbo hybrid era, and hasn't been able to challenge for championships over the last five years.

Ricciardo picked up seven race wins and 29 podiums in his time with Red Bull, but despite not being able to contend for the world drivers' title, the Australian has no negatives feelings about his stint there.

"I don’t look back on it negatively, it gave me all my milestones in F1," he said. "At Red Bull, every year is 'this is going to be our year'… the risk of being disappointed or let down is naturally higher.

"I joined them after the team won four world titles, so before I got there, I thought I was going to have a world championship car. For five years, that wasn't the case. From that point of view there's less risk coming into this, because there's more room for us to grow."

Replies (13)

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  • Personally I too think Max was the aggressor in that incident. However, I kinda think Red Bull handled it as well as it could. "Favouring" one driver in this case could've lead to some bad press and sour tastes in the team. But I can see why Ric didn't feel he got enough support from the team. I probably also think RB moving to Honda scared him off. Ric has been flirting with other teams for a while, but only really getting offers from midfield teams ('member, both Hammy and Vettel have said they don't want him), and when the deal was signed he probably grabbed whichever deal he could get that wouldn't leave him at the bottom. I really just think he is biding his time at Renault until a seat turns up at Merc' or Ferrari, when he'll try to get in again.

    • + 0
    • Mar 10 2019 - 12:17
    • Kean

      Posts: 474

      I don't know, behind closed doors they could have said that Max was at fault for having moved twice in the breaking zone. I just finished watching the netflix series, and you really get a feeling that Max is their chosen no. 1, no matter what they say. (I know the powers of editing can change the meaning but still). Horner says that Ric is running from a fight, I would rather say that he's avoiding an unfair fight by going to Renault and running towards a fair fight with Hulk.

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2019 - 13:23
    • Mm, they could've, but considering Ricciardo's statement, I think that's a no. IMO that would've been the ideal solution, and Im pretty sure it wouldn't have been a sour spot for Ric if there had been a finger pointed behind the caffeinated curtain, but this statement makes me think that wasn't what happened. I do agree however that Verstappen is RB's no 1 driver, now more than ever, but I wonder just how fair Ric vs Hulk will be. It kinda already feels like Renault regard Ric as their no 1 driver, ironically enough.

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2019 - 13:44
    • Kean

      Posts: 474

      That's what I meant (alltså de borde ha sagt till Max att det var hans fel, men de gjorde inte det därför han är deras no 1.. hursomhelst). Referring again to the netflix series, I get the feeling that Hulk is highly regarded by Cyril, he keeps repeating that he's championship material. Could it be that Cyrils hyping of Ricciardo is to create pressure?

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2019 - 17:18
    • I've been watching the Netflix series as well this weekend. It gives some interesting insight behind the scenes. Funny to see some of the drama between Horner and Cyril. Worth watching. Can't wait to see how things play out this season.

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2019 - 19:11
    • I haven't, since Im one of those weird psychos who don't have it. :) Personally, I think Cyril is one of the least trustworthy people on the grid, so for all we know he might be trying to lull Ricciardo into a false sense of comfort, or he might be trying to one-up RB, like some couples do once they get a new partner. "Oh, look how good we have it now, don't we sweetie?" he says to Ric, while giving him a mildly threatening look.

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2019 - 19:42
    • I don't think so. Cyril seems like the kind of guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. I don't think he's really very good at deception as opposed to Horner. The way the series portrays it is kind of a tit for tat kind of thing. RB slammed Renault in the media and Horner made many snide remarks that kind of hurt Cyril's feelings and he was kind of proud that Danny Ric would jump ships and tried to rub it in a bit. I don't really get any sense of malicious intent on his part in contrast to Christian. One of my favorite quotes of Horner's which I think kind of sums up his attitude was something to the effect, paraphrasing of course, was "It's all talk until Saturday afternoon, and that's when we drop our trousers and show what we've all got."

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2019 - 04:20
    • BTW, that quote wasn't in the series, just in one of the interviews I've seen with him. Just got done watching a couple of more episodes that go into the Force India/Williams and Ocon/Perez dramas. We've seen it all before, but good stuff nonetheless.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2019 - 04:24
    • The good thing about Nflix is that they give a month free before paying. Worth the price of admission.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2019 - 04:25
    • dr002

      Posts: 125

      In my opinion Baku was one of the best races of the season. I’ve just watched it back again, and now as then, it struck me that at the time Ricciardo was interviewed whilst leaving the paddock after the team debrief, that his demeanour was that of a man who was confident in a decision that had to be made.

      After watching the race the full way through again, I’m sure it wasn’t just the crash that played on RIC’s mind, he’d outdriven VER all day. He was clearly the faster driver on the day, and yet his team didn’t let him past even though he was quite a way ahead of VER in the Championship at the time.

      Then there was the turn in on RIC by VER that pushed RIC into the wall during an attempted overtake by RIC. One could only imagine the outcry had RIC done that to VER, but still nothing from the team.

      Then, when keeping in mind the strategic brilliance of the team in the prior race in China that handed RIC the win, it is impossible to believe that after RIC finally got past VER on his own merits, that the team was not intentionally favouring VER when it pitted RIC first on a track that all of the other teams knew favoured the overcut, putting VER back in front of RIC.

      VER’s double movement that led to the crash was just the icing on the cake.

      I’m sure that as RIC got out of his car he knew from that point that it was time to move on.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2019 - 04:37
  • Pistonhead

    Posts: 56

    Of course, which driver wouldn't want to move to a top team? It will be quite bitter for him to see RBR doing very well this year - by all accounts that looks likely. But, like in any walk of life, if you dont have trust in the bosses, its time to walk - for your own sanity.

    • + 0
    • Mar 10 2019 - 13:00
  • cricho

    Posts: 45

    Im with Ricky Bobby! Renault are on the rise!

    • + 0
    • Mar 10 2019 - 15:32

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