6 May 2014
Spanish GP F1: Drivers' responsibility to obey orders - Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo says that while team orders can be 'frustrating', it is a drivers' 'responsibility to obey'.
Daniel Ricciardo thinks it is a drivers' 'responsibility' to obey team orders and has said he would always do do unless it was 'completely out-of-order'.
Ricciardo heads into the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend, the fifth round in the 2014 F1 World Championship, having finished fourth in both China and Bahrain, each time getting the better of team-mate and four-time F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel. Indeed not only has the Aussie out-qualified him in three of the four races so far, but in both of the last two races, his team-mate was slower and ordered to concede position by Red Bull's management.
“We throw up different scenarios and discuss it, discuss it between drivers and between principals and engineers,” Ricciardo told The Western Australian newspaper on the eve of the event at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, when quizzed on the subject of team orders.
“It is our responsibility to obey it, unless it's completely out of order and then we can obviously try and put up a fight and give our reasons.
“But the team are doing all the calculations on pit wall during the race and you have to respect what they're saying. It's not always nice if you are being told to move over. It's not nice being that slower car, it's frustrating.”
Ricciardo added though, that he really wants to go wheel-to-wheel with Vettel and fight: “We want to race hard. I want to race the best version of Seb and he wants to race the best version of me. At the end of the day I think we'll both respect whoever's done a better job,” he added.
“Deep, deep down none of us like losing. If Seb's done a better job this year, I won't like it, but I'll definitely respect him for it and give him the credit he deserves. I think that's a two-way street. We understand what a fair fight is and we enjoy that.”
Meanwhile, asked about the Catalunya track itself, Ricciardo remarked it is all about getting the right compromise with the car.
“I've always enjoyed the Circuit de Catalunya and think it's a great track. It's a 'bit of everything' circuit – which is why it's proved so popular as a testing venue,” he continued in Red Bull's preview for Spain. “The first sector is really nice, with the corners all flowing together and the second sector, while a bit more technical, is also really interesting. The final sector is less good but you can understand why they changed it; I assume the old layout was more exciting.
“It's a good track to defend on, but one that demands a lot of concentration and the right set-up.
“The trade-off is that you need fairly low downforce on the long main straight but that compromises the rest of your lap and makes the car difficult to control.
"Finding the right balance isn't simple,” he concluded.
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