Daniel Ricciardo has some deep pockets. Picture: Getty Images
Daniel Ricciardo has some deep pockets. Picture: Getty Images

$1m fine for Red Bull stars

DANIEL Ricciardo has been ordered back to Red Bull's factory headquarters in the UK to apologise to the team's 800 employees - but the punishment doesn't go far enough in the eyes of Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda.

The Mercedes chairman has declared Ricciardo and Max Verstappen should be forced to cough up for the damage their aggressive driving caused to their RB14 cars.

Red Bull is still reeling from the collision on lap 40 during Monday morning's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, with  Ricciardo and Verstappen crashing out while heading into turn one and competing for fourth position.

Ricciardo's overtake attempt down the inside was blocked by Verstappen after the Dutchman made a second defensive move under breaking after Ricciardo had sold him a dummy to try and squeeze around the outside.

It ended in disaster as both cars failed to finish and Red Bull boss Christian Horner stormed from the track, initially refusing to speak to Sky Sports' TV broadcast.

The entire Formula 1 community continues to debate which of the talented Red Bull drivers was at fault, but Lauda has declared they both need to be hit with a huge financial penalty to pull their heads back in.

Shelling out for the damage caused to their cars could run much higher than $200,000 for each driver.

Covered by a black sheet to hide how serious the damage was to the machines, the Red Bull cars were wheeled back into the team's pit lane garage. 

However, the high-speed collision did serious damage to Ricciardo's front wing and nose cone - with both cars having debris snap off and scatter around the run-off into turn one.

Moderate estimates value the cost of a Formula 1 nose cone at more than $220,000.

It is very likely many other parts and systems on Ricciardo's No.3 car will also have been replaced.

The damage for Verstappen would have been much greater, with Ricciardo smashing into his rear, causing damage to his exhaust, rear wing and rear brakes.

Moderate estimates of Formula 1 rear wings ($160,000), exhaust systems ($310,000) and rear brakes ($270,000) would have forced Verstappen's penalty to more than $740,000 if all three needed to be replaced.

"My view is that Verstappen is 70 per cent guilty, Ricciardo 30 per cent guilty," Lauda said, according to autoweek.com.

"You cannot move like that in a straight line. Eventually the poor guy had nowhere to go. What would I do? I would bring them to my office and make them pay for the repairs."

Horner responded to Lauda's suggestion by declaring it was more important for his drivers to realise their Baku debacle could not ever happen again.

"Niki thinks about the financial side more often than most of us in the paddock," Horner said.

"For us, the most important thing for Daniel and Max to realise is that it was completely unacceptable."


It was never going to end well.
It was never going to end well.