Deemed a racing incident by the stewards, last weekend’s Baku F1 race in Azerbaijan was a good spectacle for the Formula 1 fans, plenty overtaking, and yes, a crash or two, the latest featured that much touted F1 champion of the future ‘Mad Max’, Red Bull duo Verstappen and Ricciardo coming together not for the first time.
Sitting behind his team mate, Ricciardo tried to sell Verstappen a dummy. which to an extent worked, fully committing his car to the inside, Daniel went for the smallest of gaps, with a huge closing speed from which he could not bail out, but when Verstappen instinctively moved back to the left to shut it off, contact was inevitable.
After the event Red Bull Racing came out with the inevitable ‘we are no happy’, with Christian Horner declaring the situation “unacceptable” and ordered them to apologize to the team. Yes it is not good for the team, to leave a Grand Prix with no points in the bag is never good, especially in a sport where money talks possibly more than any other, sponsors want to see valuable return for their investment blah blah.
However the flip side is what we have at Ferrari and Mercedes AMG, both Vettel and Hamilton are the clear No.1 drivers with team mates Bottas and Raikkonen both playing the No.2 role, such an incident as the Red Bull duo would not happen from the team mates racing each other for position. But is that sad? As Motorsport fans don’t we want to see drivers battle wheel to wheel, regardless of whether they are in the same team or not? As long as the driving is not erratic and reckless, we would much rather see a driver try to overtake his team mate than sit behind him giving the fans a procession event.
Verstappen is highly regarded by Christian Horner and other’s in the pit lane, there is no denying his talent, as for Ricciardo, he himself is a fantastic driver, currently being linked with a move to Ferrari for next season. The Stewards called this incident right, it simply was a racing incident, we hope the teams can apply a little bit of sense as well, that drivers should be allowed to race, if that means team mate against team mate so be it, this is after all Motorsport, winning matters, not following the pack…