'P*sses me off': Daniel Ricciardo lifts the lid on F1 rival's disrespect

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Daniel Ricciardo has opened up about a moment of disrespect from a rival F1 driver that has always stayed with him.

The Aussie star is featured as the cover story for the March issue of Esquire magazine in the Middle East.

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In a wide-ranging interview, Ricciardo discusses his friendly and outgoing nature around his competitors and how he never let Kimi Raikkonen live down a massive snub.

“Ultimately each driver believes that they are better than the guy next to them,” he told Esquire.

Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen in 2018. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images)

“On the grid, I tend to be quite friendly with people, but if I smile at someone and they blank me — it kind of p*sses me off. I take it personally for sure.

“I remember Kimi (Raikkonen) used to give me the cold shoulder and I took that personally.

“I would make a mental note of it, and on-track if I was ever feeling generous it was never going to be towards him.”

Vettel fastest in testing, Ricciardo 11th

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest lap on the penultimate day of Formula One's pre-season testing on Thursday as six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton hit engine trouble.

Vettel set a time of one minute 16.841 seconds at the Circuit de Catalunya on the softest C5 tyres, still some way off the best lap of 1:15.732 set by Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas last week.

The German also managed 145 laps, a tally beaten only by Canadian Nicholas Latifi in the Williams (160).

Ricciardo was 11th fastest on the day, with a best of 1:18.395 having posted 59 laps in his new-look Renault with French team-mate Esteban Ocon eighth.

“Today was a learning exercise as we trialled a couple of new things, set-ups and approaches on the car,” Renault's Engine Technical Director Remi Taffin told the team's website.

“The morning session with Estaban in the car was very much stop-start with the wet track and red flags but we ran relatively smoothly with Daniel in the afternoon.”

Daniel Ricciardo speaks to media at F1 winter testing. (Photo by Marc Gonzalez / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)

Hamilton did only 14 laps in the afternoon, having been kept in the garage for an hour after lunch, and was last on the timesheets while Bottas, who did 47 in the morning, was seventh.

Mercedes said the car had suffered an oil pressure anomaly, which shut the engine down as a precautionary measure but meant the team's running for the day was over as they investigated the problem.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly was second fastest in 1:17.066 and with 139 laps covered.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen had two spins, blaming the windy conditions and water on the white line into turn five after overnight rain, and was sixth fastest.

“So far this year the car is definitely an improvement, and it also has to be if you want to fight for the championship,” said the 22-year-old Dutchman.

“We just focus on ourselves, and then we will find out in Melbourne where we are.”

with AAP