No, not really. After a premature end to his Austrian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo joked at trackside saying that he might consider leaving Formula 1 altogether for a career in UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). However, Ricciardo was clearly furious that he had to retire, apparently because of a "broken exhaust".
The Aussie was not only unhappy, but also seemed unconvinced by what happened to his car. The salt to the wound was his teammate Max Verstappen winning the race.
“Is it too late to start my MMA career? What do you reckon? Will Dana [White] sign me? I can still do it. I’m out of contract so maybe I’ll just swap sports altogether.”
Ricciardo, however, made quite a start when he climbed to second from seventh. The Red Bulls looked set for a 1-2 but an unscheduled pitstop forced Ricciardo to pit. He eventually retired on the 54th lap owing to power loss. Earlier, he had overtaken Kimi Raikkonen, after the later made a mistake on Turn 3.
The Australian suffered blistering in his tyres so did Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen at some stage of the race. Verstappen, meanwhile, haven't had any issues, which clearly is because of the clear air he had got right from the start.
I don’t know if it was debris or what, but the fact that they could go [so far], I think Kimi set the best lap on the last lap with the same tyre life and you know, I had to pit thirty laps earlier and Lewis [Hamilton] as well. I am not convinced. I think something, whether it was debris, I don’t know.
The situation is not looking good at the moment and Ricciardo, quite clearly, is getting frustrated at Red Bull. It won't be a surprise if he switch alliances before 2019. Meanwhile, it is quite a noticeable thing that Max has beaten Ricciardo fair and square lately.
So, is Ricciardo's latest comment is a coded message? "I am done with Red Bull."Published 02 Jul 2018, 16:47 IST