When ex-Formula 1 Red Bull driver Mark Webber went on UK TV show Top Gear, host Jeremy Clarkson asked the Australian driver if he would miss his teammate following his retirement. Webber was rather blunt in telling the show he wouldn’t.
It is not surprising that two big name drivers clash. In recent years, we had Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso clashing, even those who weren’t teammates such as Felipe Massa and Hamilton clashed.
Now with a new teammate in Daniel Ricciardo, and it seems to be that the issues are continuing.
Ricciardo had a sensational start to his F1 career, finishing on the podium in Australia before the place was later retracted.
The tensions may have started there, as Vettel openly admitted he was surprised at how quickly Ricciardo had adapted after making the move from Torro Rosso.
Ricciardo had the chance to not only driver for a top team, but learn from a top driver. However, Vettel was less than receptive to this: “Advice is difficult because in the end he is grown up, at least that is what it says in his passport,” he said.
Vettel is used to getting what he wants, as a product of the Red Bull Academy. This was something that gave him an advantage over Mark Webber. That is gone with Ricciardo being from the same academy. Not only that, but Webber was a veteran. Ricciardo is here for the long term, he was picked because he has the potential to be a top driver. Vettel will not like that competition.
We had an insight into what could happen in 2012 at Abu Dhabi when Ricciardo was almost hit by Vettel under safety car conditions. The Australian was not pleased, and in 2014 they had a similar incident as teammates.
As Ricciardo continued his impressive season, and Vettel tried to rescue his, Red Bull ordered Vettel to yield in China as Ricciardo came close. His decision to say ‘tough,’ and not yield was petulant and pathetic.Eventually, he did, but it does not excuse his actions.
If he chooses to try and disadvantage a teammate, and reduce his own team’s chances, Ricciardo has got himself a teammate of undoubted quality but with a questionable character.
Being unable to dominate Ricciardo in the way he dominated Mark Webber, the potential for more clashes as the Formula 1 season goes on arises.