A tale of two rivals, battling it out lap after lap on the city streets of Baku. Arguably more exciting for the fans. Perhaps however, Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner should have made the call earlier to allow Australia’s golden child to pass through. For some context: Ricciardo had undoubtedly been clocking quicker times than his ‘teammate’ in front. Red Bull is known to allow team members to battle it out – something we all respect dearly in comparison to the likes of Ferrari.
In the early stages of the race when Ricciardo made his first move, both himself and Max touched wheels.. Surely, Horner and the team at Red Bull could see this as a cautionary tale and that it was time to make the move. With safety cars imminent, and the overtaking prowess and majestic brake control of Daniel Ricciardo – there was a commendable opportunity for him to snatch a podium position.
But we can’t think about what could of, should of, would of been. We must see it as it is. The crash DID happen. So who could have done better? Could Ricciardo have kept more distance, should Max have given more space, were both at fault? Well the answer lies in the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.
According to Article 20.3 under the section titled ‘Driving’:
“More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off‐line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.”
Absolutely Max moved around multiple times. The issue does not rest in whether he was braking or not (contrary to popular belief), the primary issue is the constant movement as he attempted to defend his position. It is not a grey area, it is written in black letter law and it is.. illegal.
We understand demanding both drivers to apologise to the workers about what occurred.. But if we are being perfectly honest, Red Bull management could and should have prevented this from occurring, and should not be defending ‘Crashstappen’ for his illegal manoeuvres. They have done so in the past, which has led him to be less and less accountable for potentially fatal moves.
Perhaps we should just let them race, but there are consequences.. As we saw this weekend.
Photo Source: Sky Sports