SPIELBERG – A grim-faced Daniel Ricciardo showed how upset he felt Saturday by claiming Red Bull had treated him unfairly in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.
The normally upbeat and broad-smiling Australian, who will celebrate his 29th birthday on Sunday and whose future with the team remains unresolved, qualified a disappointing seventh, two behind Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen. Ricciardo said he was unhappy that Verstappen did not ‘play fair’ by refusing to give him a slipstream in a tense and hotly-contested session.
He said that if the Dutchman had assisted, the team would have had improved grid positions instead of being separated by Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Haas.
"I’m not too impressed to be honest," he told reporters.
"We had three runs and I was just punching a hole for everyone and I think if you get one run, fair enough, each… I am not that happy that is all.”
"We could have been more fair."
Verstappen said an established team policy of one driver running in front each weekend should have been respected.
"We always agree, before the weekend, who is going in front,” he said.
"I was going in front at Paul Ricard (last weekend in France), he was going the race before that in front… So, we just discussed that and this was his weekend to go in front.
"That’s how it is and it’s very simple. Every run in Paul Ricard, I was in front. So he has to do the same here.”
Despite Ricciardo’s mood, Verstappen said he did not think it would affect their relationship or the team.
"We want to do the best qualifying possible and, of course, you want to beat each other and, of course, you want to take advantages from that,” he said.
"But if they say ‘you have to drive in front for all qualifying’ you have to do it. That’s what I did in Paul Ricard so, of course, it’s Daniel’s turn here.
"Like I said, we always try to have the best possible position, but between us it will be all good.”