Esteban Gutiérrez has said that he was surprised by comments made by Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo during the German Grand Prix, where the Australian criticised the Mexican’s driving style in the latter stages of the race.
Gutiérrez was in the process of being lapped by the race leaders when he got in Ricciardo’s way, which resulted in Australian jumping on his team radio saying, “he’s one of my favourites, I love this guy”.
While the comment was obviously sarcastic, Gutiérrez says he is puzzled by Ricciardo’s negative feedback and has vowed to “make things better”.
“I’m surprised,” Gutierrez said after the race. “I saw he was behind, but he was pretty far away at that point, and at some point I really lifted and I lost around two seconds.
“I did my best. It was not my intention to block or anything. If he is not comfortable with it, I will try to speak to him and make things better. It’s not my intention to do anything bad to anyone. I will speak to him.”
Normally an issue as minor as a blue flag incident would blow over quite quickly, however, since Gutiérrez was the target of a rude gesture by Lewis Hamilton during last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix for the same reason, he – and other backmarkers – has drawn some unwanted attention in the paddock.
“On the track just lately, it’s come up the last few races that a few of us haven’t been that impressed with the blue flags. We’ve discussed it in drivers’ meetings,” said Ricciardo.
“I’ve been in the position and I know it sucks, it sucks to move out of the line and let the leaders through – but it seems particularly the last three races in a row… everyone is doing an OK job and it seems like he’s doing a less good job than the others.
“I was trying to say it as politely as possible. I think because he’s been told already, he knows that a few aren’t that impressed with his blue flag handling. I thought by now the message would have gone through but for me at least today… I lost more time behind him than anyone else.”
Image via XPB Images