Daniel Ricciardo was in a world of pain at his last grand prix, revealing how much he “hated” an interaction with a rival after the race.
Daniel Ricciardo says he “hated” apologising to Carlos Sainz after crashing into the Ferrari star at last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The Australian driver collided with Sainz on the opening lap, ruining his rival’s race and also causing himself to fall back in the field as he finished 18th — his worst result of the season.
Afterwards, Ricciardo admitted he was in the wrong and made the effort to go inside Ferrari’s motor home to apologise to Sainz personally.
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Sainz said he had no hard feelings towards Ricciardo and appreciated him making the effort to go into the Ferrari garage and say sorry.
Speaking about the incident on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Ricciardo gave a brutally honest response.
“I hated every second of the apology,” he said. “Probably just with experience and being in it (F1) for so long, I have the maturity to know how much we all put into it and as competitive as we are, we all have something strongly in common.
“There’s only 20 of us in the world that do it, there’s only 20 F1 drivers. You respect everyone’s journey.
“The incident — if I hold myself accountable for something — then I feel like I want to apologise. It’s nothing personal.
“I don’t think everyone would do it but for me, I felt better by doing it so we (can have a) clean slate for the next one.
“I know when we come alongside each other on track next … there’ll be intensity, but nothing heightened, I guess.”
Only four races out of a 23-race calendar have been completed but there’s an inevitable sense the season could already be slipping away from Ricciardo. So far this year, the 32-year-old has finished 14th in Bahrain, DNF in Saudi Arabia, sixth in Melbourne and 18th in Imola.
Meanwhile, his McLaren teammate Lando Norris is five spots ahead of Ricciardo in the drivers’ standings.
F1 commentators put the blame squarely on Ricciardo for the first-corner crash with Sainz in Italy. The Spaniard moved up alongside Ricciardo and went the long way around to try and overtake him, but the McLaren bumped into the kerb and didn’t give Sainz space to pass.
They clipped wheels and went off into the gravel, with Sainz unable to get back on track as Ferrari suffered a disastrous grand prix.
But there were no hard feeling after Ricciardo showed his class by saying sorry.
“It raises Daniel as an athlete and as a sportsman,” Sainz said.
“Immediately after the race, you could see he’s had a tough one, but the first thing that he did, he was coming to the Ferrari box to apologise to me.
“There were the whole mechanics in here with me, and we all thanked him for the gesture.
“So that’s why there’s no hard feelings with Daniel, because what happened to him could happen to anyone out there today.
“Unfortunately, it had to happen to me, which I’m coming from the crash in Melbourne.”