Daniel Ricciardo had quite the perplexing run on the Spielberg track when he qualified better than Verstappen, but was left in the dust last weekend.
We know we’ve been inundating you with news of a certain rivalry gone awry at the Austrian Grand Prix, so we’ve decided to let some other adversarial relationships. Red Bull’s Verstappen and Ricciardo are nowhere near as bitterly at odds, but the competition is certainly there. So Ricciardo is understandably put out by the puzzling outcome last weekend. Though he easily outqualified the young Dutchman, he was overtaken early into the race and crawling towards the middle stint. Verstappen took runner-up position after making one stop while he went on to claim fifth. And if you were to ask him why, he has no answers to offer.
“I felt like I did everything I could today, and for whatever reason, we weren’t quick. Now I just want to understand and learn why.
“I don’t think there was too much difference between mine and Max’s set-up. With the tyres, every time I pushed a bit more, I felt like I was taking life out of them. So it’s important to understand why we weren’t quick enough.
“Obviously, the frustrating part was seeing the others pull away, and not being able to do much.”
We do feel for him. Ricciardo has proven himself to be a competent, talented driver who deserves to be exactly where he is. But for some reason, he seems unable to make the cut exactly when he wants. He’s never won a title in all his years with Formula 1 and he’s already into the second half of his career, having just turned 21. He also hasn’t had the best of luck with pit stops and mechanics of late and it seems that this is a second round of circumstance refusing to cooperate with his agenda. Hopefully, his feelings of competition with hotshot Verstappen will fuel him to keep fighting against the odds. At the very least, the rivalry will keep interest in Red Bull drivers very much alive.