Daniel Ricciardo says he would “100 per cent” have attempted a final-lap pass on Sebastian Vettel if he had been in Valtteri Bottas’ position in the Bahrain GP.
Bottas caught leader Vettel in the closing laps of Sunday’s race but, despite having fresher tyres, failed to really threaten the German and decided against attempting an overtake at Turn One on the final lap.
Ricciardo was forced to retire in the opening stages after his Red Bull lost all power but says he would have gone for the overtake had he had the chance for the win, even if it ended in taking himself and Vettel out of the race.
‘Bottas bottled Vettel move’
Verstappen: Easy for Lewis to blame me
When’s the Chinese GP on Sky?
“I definitely would have sent it. 100 per cent,” he told Sky F1.
“I would have gone. There’s a gap, you’re finishing second anyway, if you overshoot you’re finishing second.
“Last lap, for the win, you have to go. You have to go. Take them both out [if it goes wrong].
“How the race would have gone, I don’t know. I don’t want to say I would have won, but if that was me on the last lap you can bet everything that I was going for it.”
Ex-F1 driver Mark Blundell tells the F1 Report that Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas 'bottled it' when challenging Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel for victory in Bahrain
Bottas: I’d do same again
Many observers have questioned Bottas’ lack of aggression in deciding against a move, with former F1 driver Mark Blundell telling Wednesday’s F1 Report that the Finn had “bottled” his chance.
However, Bottas insists that he would not change his approach if he was in the same situation again.
“I have reviewed everything and if I could relive the situation again, I wouldn’t do anything differently,” Bottas said.
“Afterwards and from the outside it is easy to say ‘You should have done this, you should have done that’.
“We analysed all the scenarios and it is nearly impossible to say what would have been the best. From each race there is always something you can do better and probably in the middle stint we could have tried to pressurise Sebastian a bit more because we had a decent pace. But what would have happened in the end with the tyres, that is a question mark.”
Should Bottas have gone for it?
Analysis from Sky F1 commentator David Croft:
“From the outside it does look like Valtteri was a bit too hesitant, a bit too reluctant to really go for it.
“Talking to the teams, they say Valtteri couldn’t have pushed any harder at the start of his final stint because he would have worn out his tyres and he wouldn’t have had enough to attack Sebastian.
“So he timed it to perfection but when he got his opportunity he didn’t take it. It was only a half opportunity but this is the top level of racing and you are not always going to get that golden gift.
“You have to go and make things happen. I think the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel would have made it happen and Valtteri didn’t do that.
“You only had to look at his face on the podium to know that he only blamed himself for not sizing that half-opportunity when it came his way.”
How to follow the Chinese GP on Sky F1 Friday April 13 Sky F1 digital live blog 3am: P1 LIVE! (Build-up 2.45am) 7am: P2 LIVE! (Build-up 6.45am) Saturday April 14 Sky F1 digital live blog 4am: P3 LIVE! (Build-up 3.45am) 7am: Qualifying LIVE! (Build-up 6am) 8.45am: The F1 Show LIVE! Sunday April 15 Sky F1 digital live blog 5.30am: Pit Lane LIVE 6.30am: On the Grid LIVE! 7.10am: The Chinese GP LIVE!
Will Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make it three wins in a row or can Mercedes and Red Bull respond in Shanghai? Watch the Chinese GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Get Sky Sports F1.