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Ricciardo: Sainz “always the culprit” in F1 impeding

Daniel Ricciardo has joked that Carlos Sainz is “always the culprit” in Formula 1 impeding and that the Spaniard gets what he deserves from other drivers in return.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

James Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sainz complained about traffic after qualifying 16th for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while also claiming that drivers deliberately throw “a little bit of dirty air” at rivals in order to hamper them while not technically being guilty of impeding. 

Told that Sainz is starting a place behind him in Sunday’s season finale at Yas Island, Ricciardo suggested that the Spaniard is known for making life tricky for other drivers.

“Oh, directly behind me?” said Ricciardo. “I'm going to speak to him.

“I know he upsets some people in practice and stuff, like he's normally the upsetter. He gets in the way.

“So I'm going to tell him to maybe not press his left foot too much into Turn 1 tomorrow [Sunday] and upset some people and help me out!

“I don't know why he does it, but he is always the culprit. But look, he hasn't upset me this weekend.

“I don't know if he's just messing with us, but he definitely seems to be the one that everyone likes to talk about in terms of impeding and whatever.

“He's going to get what he's given. But he started it!”

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Ricciardo said that dirty air has become more of an issue this season, and confirmed that drivers are well aware that they can make life harder for following cars.

“Yeah, I felt like this year it's got worse,” he said. “I think definitely last year, it was a bit better.

“But for me, I feel this year, it definitely seems a bit harder to follow or not like be affected.

“We know what we're doing. My approach is if I do it to someone, they're going to do it back to me.

“So I'm like, I'll try to be nice to everyone and hopefully get it back to me in a nice way. But anyway, I just talked a bit of shit on him [Sainz]. He hasn't upset me in a while, but you mentioned it!”

Ricciardo insisted that he tries not to cause problems for others.

“I feel like I'm doing a good job of trying to get out of people's way,” he said. “I think it's more in practice as well, when there's nothing on the line. 

“That's when probably we get most frustrated. Okay, we're honestly not fighting for positions in practice, so that's where it probably upsets you more.

“I think qualifying there'll probably be a penalty, but it's more practice where maybe you feel they'll get away with it, and that's where it can rub you the wrong way.”

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