Daniel Ricciardo threw all he could to pass Max Verstappen at the start of F1 Belgian GP even though he knew he would be re-passed.
While arguably not an exemplary race in relation to the best racing F1 has to offer, the 2020 Belgian GP at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit did have some notable fights, some being on-track, and others occurring primarily in the pit lane.
One such battle was between Renault’s Ricciardo and Red Bull’s Verstappen, the latter of whom was defending his third place just at the start of the grand prix, and the latter of whom was attacking in a continued bid to land a podium finish.
Ricciardo had previously stated that his chances were hurt by the presence of off-strategy cars, which got in the way of his efforts to destabilize his adversary, but the Australian had fought Verstappen in a separate incident at the Turn 5 complex on Lap 1, at which point he admitted to deploying self-restraint.
“I had a double tow at the start, I was trying to overtake and I think there was always an element that ‘will they be quick?’,” said Ricciardo. “There was a thought of not pushing but then I was still trying to overtake and if he had passed me later on, so be it.
“It wasn’t worst to put myself there in the first few corners but I kept one percent of maturity in me to not overdo it,” added Ricciardo. His former Red Bull teammate Verstappen took it well to, maintaining respect between the two F1 rivals.
“Yeah, we gave each other room,” said Verstappen. “Honestly, I didn’t see Ricciardo after Turn 7 but he was on my inside, but I could only see one Renault in my mirror but that was not Daniel, so I had no clue where he was.
“So, I just gave him a bit more space than I think was necessary in Turn 8. But all good, it was nice. It’s always nice anyway racing him; he’s a good guy. It’s a lot of fun,” added Verstappen, who eventually ended up third but was only over three seconds from Ricciardo.
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