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Ricciardo reluctant to see Bottas penalised despite near-miss

Written by  Apr 07, 2018

Daniel Ricciardo called on the Formula 1 stewards not to penalise Valtteri Bottas despite the two almost colliding during practice at the Bahrain GP.

The Mercedes driver was unaware of the fast-approaching Australian as he coasted through Turn 4 with the Red Bull driver sweeping around the outside and almost coming together on the exit with mere centimetres between them.

The incident ruined Ricciardo's attempt at a qualifying simulation on the Supersoft tyre and the usually relaxed 'honey badger' fired a furious message over the radio but afterwards, he was more reflective.

“I don’t want Valtteri to get a penalty,” he said. “This is practice and it’s frustrating but I don’t think anyone agreed with my penalty last week and I don’t want to start that game.

“I believe he wasn’t told on the radio, so it’s probably not his fault.”

That wish seems to have been followed as the stewards have not sanctioned the Finn for impeding but it came in what was a more difficult evening in general for Ricciardo, who had set the quickest time in the daytime session.

“Overall it wasn’t a bad day,” he said. “Obviously, this morning was pretty strong but the evening session was not as good; we made some changes that didn’t work as well as we hoped.

“I don’t just want to go back to the Practice 1 car as I think we can still make it better. We can find a happy medium on the balance and the overall feeling is not too bad."

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In fact, the 28-year-old is confident Red Bull can take the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari more strongly than they could two weeks ago in Australia.

“Mercedes will still turn it up in qualifying but we will be closer than where we were tonight," he stated.

“I’m confident that we will have a good car and tomorrow I’m sure we can be better than sixth and hopefully even better again in the race.”

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