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Ricciardo defends “powerful racer” Verstappen after Norris F1 Austrian GP conflict

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Daniel Ricciardo has defended Max Verstappen over his driving in System 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, considering the controversy over his conflict with Lando Norris has been blown out of proportion.

Verstappen’s strategy to racing has been underneath the highlight since he was handed a 10-second penalty for inflicting a collision with Norris throughout their battle for the lead on the Purple Bull Ring final weekend.

Whereas some have stated that Verstappen’s actions, each within the collision and defensive transferring underneath braking previous to it are a trigger for concern, Ricciardo doesn’t see issues that means.

As an alternative, the Australian, who’s a former team-mate of the Dutchman and famously collided with him at Baku in 2018, believed that what was witnessed final weekend was merely arduous however truthful racing for a victory.

“I am assuming they’ve most likely blown it up as a result of it is clearly a battle for the lead and ‘as soon as associates, now enemies’, it is most likely that occurring I can solely think about,” he stated.

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“It was arduous, however you are additionally combating for a win. So yeah, you are not going to simply wave somebody by.

“I believe the contact, that may occur most likely 9 instances out of 10 with no consequence.

“They’d been going at it forwards and backwards, and possibly the angle was a bit awkward once they each entered, and clearly it ended Lando’s race.

Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB14 and Daniel Ricciardo, Purple Bull Racing RB14 crash

Picture by: Sutton Pictures

“However I believe the result was greater than most likely what was really taking place on observe. From what I noticed, a minimum of nothing appeared excessive. Was it pushing the sting? Most likely. However was something harmful or reckless? No less than from what I’ve seen, no.”

Ricciardo proved at Baku in 2018 that he was not prepared to be a pushover when it got here to being aggressive with Verstappen in wheel-to-wheel battles, even when it risked an incident.

And he steered that if folks wished to go up towards Verstappen then they needed to get their elbows out, as a result of everybody is aware of how arduous the Dutchman races.

“Nobody on this sport needs to be the one which will get bullied,” he stated. “You need to stand your floor towards everybody and clearly it is your repute as effectively.

“When folks come as much as you on observe, you don’t need them to assume, oh, this man’s going to be a straightforward one for me. So, you all the time need to have your elbows out to an extent.

“We all know Max from day one has all the time had his out and, and I believe simply naturally, [it is] his DNA, he simply is a troublesome racer. It isn’t one thing he has to essentially dig deep for. It is simply that is simply how he races.

“It is type of unconditional with him that you will get a troublesome battle. It does not essentially change the best way you race him. You simply know that you will have to drag off a extremely good transfer and be sure to make it stick.

“I believe Lando realized that on Saturday [in the Austria sprint]. I believe he thought he most likely had it performed and Max stated, no, not immediately. It is such as you stay and also you study.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, crash out of the race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB16B, crash out of the race

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Comparisons to 2021

Whereas McLaren boss Andrea Stella said Verstappen’s aggressive approach to racing in Austria was a consequence of him getting away with similar antics in 2021, Ricciardo is just not so positive you possibly can evaluate what occurred then to now.

“It appears like individuals are most likely hammering Max a bit and it sounds prefer it’s most likely blowing slightly bit out of proportion,” he stated.

“He is unchanged, however I believe that is the best way he goes racing. Clearly he leaves all of it out on the observe and it is also what quite a lot of followers have admired about him.

“However do I believe he matured because the begin of his profession? Completely. So, yeah, it is not like he is discovering himself in these positions on a regular basis.”

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He added: “I do not assume it wants any actual addressing in the mean time. Perhaps drivers’ briefing tomorrow. I will hear in any other case, however I do not assume the incident they’d was harmful.

“It was pretty low velocity and that it wasn’t like clearly a flip 9 state of affairs right here at Copse in ’21. That clearly had so much greater consequence.

“But when this goes on the following few races then it is like, ‘oh wow.’ However I am undecided if one race is sufficient to create a story of, oh, nothing’s modified.”

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