• Red Bull

Ricciardo and Vettel agree to race hard but fair

ESPN Staff
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Daniel Ricciardo went wheel-to-wheel with Sebastian Vettel in China © Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo says he has sat down with Sebastian Vettel and agreed to "race hard" this year as they go head-to-head at Red Bull.

Ricciardo has proved to be a match for the four-time world champion so far this season, beating him for pace at the last two races and only trailing on points after being disqualified from the opening grand prix in Australia.

In China the relationship between the drivers was put to the test when Vettel was told to move over for Ricciardo by the Red Bull pit wall and initially refused to follow team orders. However, Ricciardo says he still has the upmost respect for Vettel and has agreed to race him hard and fair this year.

"We know it ourselves and even told each other that we want to race hard," Ricciardo told the West Australian. "I want to race the best version of Seb and he wants to race the best version of me. At the end of the day I think we'll both respect whoever's done a better job.

"Deep, deep down none of us like losing. If Seb's done a better job this year, I won't like it, but I'll definitely respect him for it and give him the credit he deserves. I think that's a two-way street. We understand what a fair fight is and we enjoy that."

Ricciardo said it was important to follow team orders unless they are completely unfair.

"We throw up different scenarios and discuss it, discuss it between drivers and between principals and engineers. It is our responsibility to obey it, unless it's completely out of order and then we can obviously try and put up a fight and give our reasons.

"But the team are doing all the calculations on pit wall during the race and you have to respect what they're saying. It's not always nice if you are being told to move over. It's not nice being that slower car, it's frustrating."

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