Ricciardo floats bold idea for ‘boring’ F1
THE fallout from the French Grand Prix has continued with Aussie F1 star Daniel Ricciardo sticking the boot in.
The entire season has drawn some disappointed yawns as the merciless Mercedes move closer to what appears to be certain victory.
But the French Grand Prix especially drew the ire of fans and commentators alike for being boring after Ricciardo was handed two five-second penalties for his actions on the final lap.
It cost Renault a double points finish as Ricciardo was relegated to eleventh, while teammate Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth.
After he had stalked McLaren's Lando Norris for several laps, Ricciardo's wheels locked up as he went to overtake, before he re-entered the track and forced the 19-year-old Brit wide.
Ricciardo then went the long way around Kimi Raikkonen, which cost him a second penalty.
The stewards came under fire despite making the correct decisions according to F1 rules.
Former F1 driver and Sky Sports commentator Paul di Resta lamented the penalties post-race.
"He did a good job, Ricciardo, he gave us some excitement and that's the big thing," he said.
"It's a sad loss when you see someone who's actually making a move on the last lap and doing something but they're going to pick something up probably."
But with the F1 rule changes in 2021 stealing headlines as fans hope for meaningful changes in the sport, Ricciardo said he would love to see all F1 drivers battle it out on an equal playing field.
After Lewis Hamilton claimed his sixth victory in eight races this season - Mercedes teammate Valterri Bottas has the other two - the 29-year-old Aussie believed F1 could be spiced up by drivers racing in equal cars, meaning the best driver would win.
"To be honest, if I'm by myself and I can see big gaps across the field in front of me, in my mirrors, sometimes I'm also thinking, 'This isn't probably that exciting for people watching,'" Ricciardo told GPFans.
"As a racer, I would love for everything to be equal, so all us 20 drivers could be fighting to see who the best is. Some tracks, some drivers would be better and you would see a mix as the top guy wouldn't always be winning. It would be close."
Despite Mercedes' success, however, Ricciardo doesn't blame the Silver Arrows. "I know there was a big meeting to continue discussing things for 2021, so hopefully," he said.
"At the moment, it's a bit easy for Mercedes, but I don't want to criticise them. They're the ones doing the job, it's up to everyone else to catch up. But it's easy to be frustrated without the car."
Hamilton has also been critical. He said the competition needs to "make some serious changes to the decisions that they've already made of how 2021 should be" because they are "nowhere near where it should be in my opinion".
After the weekend's racing, he also admitted F1 could be boring. "If you say it's boring, I totally understand it," Hamilton said.
"Don't blame the drivers - we don't write the rules. Put the pressure on the people at the top, who should be doing their jobs. They have made mistakes for many, many years."
Despite Ricciardo dropping from seventh to 11th after his penalties, the Aussie star said he was "glad I tried and had a crack".
Heading into the weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul said the team was happy with the finish but looking to prove they were the best of the rest, despite McLaren sitting fourth in the constructor's series.
McLaren put their hand up in France with Carlos Sainz finishing in sixth and Norris in ninth, while Renault had to settle for just Hulkenberg's points.
"It's an OK result, being in the points is good, but we are targeting more points than that," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
"We've seen that we are just as quick if not quicker than McLaren when not held back, but obviously McLaren was so much faster in qualifying, and that's what matters the most in current F1.
"On different compounds and on the longer runs we are much more competitive against them and the rest of the field. That's going to be the focus in Austria, where probably it's going to be extremely hot, and we know the track can be extremely damaging for the tyres."
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