Ricciardo didn’t mean to rile Verstappen with Mexico celebration
Daniel Ricciardo says his celebration after scoring pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix last month was not intended to rile Max Verstappen after beating his Red Bull Formula 1 teammate out by just two-hundredths of a second.
Verstappen was poised to become the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history after leading the early stages of Q3 in Mexico, only for Ricciardo to pull out a faster lap with his final effort of the session, wrestling P1 away.
Ricciardo celebrated in animated fashion on the track after qualifying, with Verstappen’s father, Jos, revealing in a Dutch TV interview that this had annoyed his son.
Verstappen would go on to win the race after taking the lead at the start, while Ricciardo retired with 10 laps to go when running second.
Ricciardo said on Thursday in Brazil that he was not aware his celebration after qualifying had annoyed Verstappen so much, but was understanding of his teammate’s frustration.
“I was aware Max was pissed after qualy, in the press conference and that you could tell he was not too pleased. I don’t think it was really directed at me,” Ricciardo said.
“I think anyone missing their first pole by such a small margin is going to be pissed. Even if I missed that pole, if I was in his shoes, even if it was not for my first pole, I would still be upset. That is the competitor in us.
“I didn’t see it as anything personal, like I was rubbing it in. I was super happy because it has been a tough year. I was the underdog in that fight for pole. So to do it, I was pretty stoked.
“From his point of view, he was the favorite all weekend, topping all the sessions, and to get pipped by your teammate by two hundredths, it is going to piss you off.
“That is just the competitor.”
Verstappen also spoke about his anger in Mexico, saying it came out of frustration for having missed out on pole after dominating the weekend up to that point despite struggling with an issue on his car.
“I was mainly very angry because of the problems I’ve had with my engine during qualifying,” Verstappen said.
“That weekend I was clearly the fastest but just for 75 seconds, I wasn’t. I was literally pissed off. Then of course every little thing which comes with it makes me even more angrier.
“I could literally do some damage if somebody would say something wrong to me after qualifying. That’s how angry I was.
“So yeah, every little thing makes me more angry.”
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