Daniel Ricciardo has come out in support of former teammate and rival, Sebastian Vettel, after the German was fined and reprimanded by the FIA for failing to follow stewards’ instructions during qualifying yesterday.
“If I was in his position, I’ll be frustrated as well,” Ricciardo told Autosport when asked about Vettel. “Because rain’s coming, he hasn’t set a lap yet, I guess in simple terms, they’re just postponing his qualifying and putting him at risk.”
“I think we’re going to talk about it probably in Abu Dhabi now, but we might have to try and add something in – like you can only be called if you’ve set a lap.”
The Australian went on to explain why he thought Vettel’s stance was right and that he sympathised with Vettel’s eagerness to get going. “I think calling you to the bridge before you’ve set a lap, they’re kind of controlling your qualifying session, which I think is a bit unfair,” said Ricciardo.
“So from that point of view I will, let’s say, sympathise with Seb.” Asked about the normal procedure Ricciardo said, “Well, you’ve got to switch you car off, then the mechanics have to come, start it up.”
“You lose, I couldn’t put a time on it – call it a minute or something. But, again, if the weather’s like that, it’s not ideal.
“They called me in in Suzuka, when I had my problem, I hadn’t set a time, I’ve literally come out and come in and they’ve called me in, and I was a bit like, ‘Guys, why do you need me, I’ve done nothing.’ But then they saw I’d had problems and let me go. But I kind of feel we need to set a lap before they call us on.”
Ricciardo himself has had wretched luck this season, despite winning two races, and it is understandable that he rallies for someone who has gone through a rough patch himself, losing the title when he apparently had the fastest car.