21 November 2014
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Ricciardo ready to spoil Vettel farewell
Daniel Ricciardo says it would be good to be fighting for the F1 podium with Red Bull team-mate on Sebastian Vettel's last race with the team in Abu Dhabi.
Daniel Ricciardo may have the biggest smile in the F1 paddock, but he clearly contains a ruthless streak if comments made on Friday night in Abu Dhabi are anything to go by.
The Australian will take over as Red Bull team leader next season following Sebastian Vettel's departure for Ferrari, which was finally confirmed on Thursday, but admits that he isn't about to make it easy for the German to wave goodbye from the Yas Marina podium.
“I don't know if there are any team orders, but maybe they won't go his way...,” he grinned mischievously when asked if he intended to spoil Vettel's farewell party, “But, seriously, he was competitive today and, hopefully, we'll be fighting for that spot on the podium.
“It would be nice to maybe have a battle with him and to end the season like that would be a good farewell for him and the team.”
Vettel was fourth fastest on day one of the season finale, with Ricciardo a couple of places further back, but the Australian – who is destined to finish third in the points in his first year with RBR – was happy with the work he was able to put in across the two 90-minute practice sessions.
“We got all the laps in, which was important, and got to run both compounds on the long run so I think we achieved all we could for a run plan,” he reported, “It'll be a usual Friday night, see how we go, learn what we can.
“Mercedes... I won't even mention them – they're fighting for the title, so let them go. As for the rest of us, it's pretty tight as always for third place.”
With McLaren pushing to join the battle for the podium along with Ferrari, Ricciardo admits that he won't be afraid to try something different if it means he comes out on top.
“We'll definitely try and do something [with strategy],” he confirmed, “I don't think we were lapping that quickly on the supersoft, but basically seeing how far it would go and keeping our options open for Sunday. Anything can happen and, obviously, it's the final race so a few people are a bit more excited than others. If strategy can work out some way, maybe we can manage to do that.”
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