Whilst Daniel Ricciardo didn’t give Esteban Gutierrez the middle finger, he did proclaim sarcasm over team radio about the growing unpopularity of the Mexican driver.
Blue flag existence-denier and king of 11th-place Esteban Gutierrez isn’t doing himself any favors. He is growing a bad reputation for ignoring blue flags, and Ricciardo has echoed Hamilton’s recent criticism of the driver.
— Joe Newman (@joenewmans) July 24, 2016
The Aussie had a solid 2nd place finish at the Hockenheimring, but felt that Gutierrez jeopardized his race nonetheless. During the incident in which Gutierrez ignored the blue flags, Ricciardo came over the team radio and said, “He’s one of my favourites, I love this guy.”
After the race, Ricciardo elaborated with,
“Off the track, I have no problem at all with Esteban. I think he’s actually one of the nicer guys – but just 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.
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… I lost more time behind him than anyone else.”
– Daniel Ricciardo
Shoey champagne consumption aside, Ricciardo would have been pretty pissed off to lose valuable time behind Esteban, especially given that Rosberg was a genuine threat to the Red Bull’s pre-penalty.
Gutierrez, who remains oblivious to the unanimous condemnation of his antics, said,
“I’m surprised, because I saw other people in front, obviously I saw he [Ricciardo] was behind of course, but he was pretty far away at that time. Then at some point I really lifted and lost about two seconds.”
I did my best, it was not my intention to block or anything. If he is not comfortable with it I’m going to speak to him and try and get it better as it’s not my intention to do it. I was on Super Soft [tyres] at that moment, he was catching me very slowly, and when I saw he was one second behind or something I really backed off and let him by in Turn 2.”
– Esteban Gutierrez