Daniel Ricciardo has brushed off his run-in with Romain Grosjean for blocking him during the second free practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a moment of frustration after appearing to point his middle finger at the Haas driver.

Coming to the end of a fast lap Ricciardo was forced to abort at the final corner when Grosjean, on an out lap, blocked the Red Bull driver to push him into avoiding action.

The Australian driver duly reacted by gesturing at the rear of Grosjean’s car immediately after the incident before sarcastically telling his race engineer “he only blocked me off once” and swearing over team radio.

Asked about the incident after the second practice session, Ricciardo laughed it off but admitted his frustration at seeing a lap ruined which restrained him to third on the times behind pace-setter Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

“I had a bruised finger… I had an oversteer and was just shaking it off…” Ricciardo said. “He didn’t need to do that, it was only practice so I am not fazed by it.

“It was a heat of the moment thing, for sure, but it was frustrating. I was on a hot lap and he was on an out lap.”

Assessing his Friday practice as a whole, Ricciardo was satisfied with his early progress with his qualifying and low fuel pace while hunting “a couple more tenths” to try to match the high fuel speeds of timesheet topper Hamilton as he targets the minimum of a podium to end his 2017 on a high.

“Our short run pace looks pretty good,” he said. “Still not on Lewis’ pace, but fairly there with Ferrari. We know we will need to find a couple more tenths tomorrow.

“The long run there is a little bit more to find. A bit more work tonight, but generally not a bad day.”


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