Cooler Vettel says Ricciardo battle was 'fun'

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An epic battle for third place between Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo almost ended in tears at one point in the Spanish Grand Prix, and Vettel was deeply unhappy with his former team mate's overtaking attempts at one critical stage of the race.

Ricciardo attempted a daring overtaking manoeuvre into turn 1 on lap 59 but couldn't brake in time to make the corner. Vettel took avoiding action and retained the position but was straight on to his team radio to vent his anger.

"If I don’t avoid that he is just going straight into my car," Vettel fumed. "Honestly, what are we doing? Racing or ping pong?"

It's the second race in succession that he's had cause to vent about the actions of a Red Bull driver - he was hit twice in the Russian Grand Prix by Daniil Kvyat, who has since been transferred to the Toro Rosso team.

Ricciardo was non-plused when he heard about Vettel's comments.

"Apparently he said I was a bit aggressive on the radio. Typical," said the Australian. "Unlike 99 per cent of the drivers on the grid I actually tried to make an overtake.

"Knowing we were catching the cars in front and Seb was in our way for a podium and a potential win of course I was going to try. I gave it a go."

After the race, Vettel was notably calmer about the incident.

"I had an interesting race trying to hold him off as they were quite competitive on the medium tyre," he explained. " It was quite hairy and close into turn one and if I didn’t move over we would have crashed in that instant.

"I was on fire and complaining because if I don’t play according to his move there is a crash. It is racing because it was the one chance he had when I had a bad exit so he had to go for it.

"I’ve raced him a few times and it was fun and entertaining for me trying to hold on it the podium so I’m very happy to hold on to it."

Ricciardo eventually suffered a puncture and was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop leaving Vettel's third place unchallenged, but the Australian still managed to hold on to fourth place.

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