Ricciardo: I just saw Vettel go off behind me
4 November 2012 – Daniel Ricciardo claims he was oblivious to the moment when Sebastian Vettel seemingly swerved to avoid him in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. At the time, the championship leader was furious as he flew off the track and damaged his front wing against a DRS marker board.
“Vettel behind me during the Safety Car? I looked in my mirrors and saw him go through one of the polystyrene boards, but I have no idea what happened,” Ricciardo explained.
Ricciardo’s own race was an impressive one. From 16th on the grid, the Australian finished tenth and picked up his sixth points finish of the season for Toro Rosso.
“I got a good start, although I had to avoid an accident shortly after,” he recalled. “My initial pace was quite good and I could stay with Schumacher who was on the Prime (Medium compound tyre), while like most people I was on the Option (Soft), but I could not get close enough to pass him. Then, in my second stint and on the Prime, I don’t feel we got up to speed quickly enough and I was struggling a bit with braking. When the second Safety Car came out, we pitted again, which was a good call – originally we had considered a one stop – took on new Options and the fresher tyre meant I had a better pace towards the end.
“I’m pretty happy with tenth as I was not expecting points after the early part of the race, but I never gave up and kept fighting to the end. In the final laps, Schumacher was closing in on me again, but I managed to hold him off.”