Daniel Ricciardo celebrated his pole position in Mexico City rather exuberantly, and who can blame him after the terrible run of form this season which has seen the likeable Australian retire from seven of the previous races of the season, prior to the Mexican GP.
The Australian snatched pole position from young Dutch teammate Max Verstappen by just two hundredths of a second, denying the youngster his first ever Formula One pole position.
This obviously didn’t go down well with Verstappen, and he was reportedly angered by Ricciardo’s actions after qualifying, with father Jos claiming that Max was “very angry” with his teammate’s celebrations.
Jos did go on to explain that Danny Ric’s jubilation inspired his son to take the win in the Grand Prix on Sunday, and Ricciardo was asked about whether he thought his celebrations were too over the top, considering he had just snatched a first-ever pole position from his young teammate.
“I am not aware of that. I was aware Max was p*ssed after quali, the press conference and that you could tell he was not too pleased,” said Ricciardo when questioned about his celebrations post qualifying.
“I don’t think it was really directed at me. I think anyone missing their first pole by such a small margin is going to be p*ssed. Even if I missed that pole, if I was in his shoes, even if that was not for my first pole, I would still be upset. That is the competitor in me,” the Australian continued.
Ricciardo’s pole was very well received by Formula One fans and drivers alike after his poor run of form which has led to him retiring from eight Grands Prix now, after his later retirement in the Mexican GP.
The likeable Aussie has had woeful luck with his Renault power unit in the back of his Red Bull, which is ironic after his decision to leave the successful Milton Keynes outfit to join Enstone-based Renault factory Formula One team.
Danny Ric has seemed dejected since his announcement to join the Renault team and his back run of form with reliability issues, and few could have begrudged him the qualifying success in Mexico, despite his race fortunes not being as fortunate.
“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,” Ricciardo told ESPN, referencing his reliability issues that have hampered him during the 2018 season.
“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 [Max Verstappen’s] point of view, he was the favourite all weekend topping all the sessions, and to get pipped by your teammate by two hundredths, it is going to p*ss you off.”
Max had spoken to the media shortly after failing to put his RB14 on pole position, and told of his frustration of missing out on pole despite him being comfortable all weekend on the timesheets.
“I was mainly very angry because of the problems I’ve had with my engine during qualifying and then you know, that weekend I was clearly the fastest but just for 75 seconds I wasn’t. So yeah I was literally just p*ssed off,” voiced Verstappen when questioned by ESPN.
“Then of course every little thing which comes with it makes me even more angrier. I could literally.....well, I’d prefer not to say,” explained the young Dutchman, who was visibly still angered, despite going onto win the Mexican GP at a relative canter.
Despite his win in the race and pace over the rest of the weekend, Max displayed yet more anger when continuing answering questions, saying: “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!”
It is clear that tensions where high in the Red Bull camp, but things seemed to have calmed down as we head into the Brazilian GP weekend, where neither Ricciardo or Verstappen are expected to be near the very front of the timesheets on a high speed track like Interlagos.