McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo defended his driving style when Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz accused him of driving ‘dirty’ in Austin.
The Australian driver raced strong and finished in fifth at the US Grand Prix held on Sunday. His battle with Ferrari and in particular Carlos Sainz made it into several highlight reels.
In a frantic start to the race, Daniel reached up to fifth and then ended up falling to seventh after being sandwiched between the two Ferraris and teammate Lando Norris as well.
However, that was not the end of the tale of the first lap battle for Ricciardo as the Aussie thrust himself back into fifth, showcasing a masterclass in overtaking. He stayed in fifth for the majority of the race until the time for him to face off with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the final few laps.
With 13 laps to go, Sainz tried to make the move on Ricciardo but the McLaren driver did not let him pass and put up a good fight. Sainz tried to overtake around the outside of a corner and that is where the pair touched.
It’s getting spicy between Sainz and Ricciardo 🔥
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 24, 2021
The Spanish racer accused Ricciardo of deliberately nudging him out to maintain track position.
“That got a bit dirty. He did that on purpose, guys.”
After the race, Ricciardo said that he thoroughly enjoyed his battle with Sainz.
“And (Sainz) put on a good attack later on in the race as well and we obviously went side-by-side, and a little bit of banging wheels. So it was very fun and very needed to hold on for everything I could.”
When asked if Ricciardo had anything to say about Carlos calling his move ‘dirty’, Ricciardo saw the humour in the situation and actually appreciated being considered an aggressive racer.
“That’s cool. I’m happy to be dirty. I’m a nice guy, so being dirty every now and then is alright!”
Ferrari difficult to catch in Austin
Daniel Ricciardo spoke about the pace of the Ferrari cars on track on Sunday. With respect to McLaren’s battle with Ferrari for third place in the constructor’s standings, Daniel expressed the need for McLaren to tighten up.
“Charles (Leclerc) showed that Ferrari were quicker, we couldn’t match that pace today. So obviously that’s something we’ve got to still try to find. To beat one of them is quite rewarding.”
Ricciardo is now 17.5 points behind Sainz in their battle for the seventh spot in the Driver’s standings. Mclaren is 3.5 points ahead of Ferrari with five more races to go.