In a surprising revelation, Daniel Ricciardo has claimed that Lewis Hamilton sought to gather insider information about the Red Bull car’s impressive speed from Max Verstappen during their encounter in the post-race cool-down room.
Verstappen continued his dominant form in the 2023 season, securing yet another victory and equalling the esteemed Ayrton Senna’s record of 41 wins in Formula 1.
It was another comfortable outing for Verstappen, leading the race from start to finish, with Fernando Alonso and Hamilton taking second and third place, respectively.
With this triumph, Verstappen now enjoys a commanding 69-point lead over his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, at the top of the driver’s standings.
Furthermore, Red Bull has extended its lead in the constructors’ championship race to a significant 154 points.
Before stepping onto the podium, drivers enter the ‘cool-down room,’ a space where they remove their helmets and rehydrate.
The live broadcast captures the conversations that occur between the drivers during this time.
Despite being fierce rivals on the track, the exchange between Hamilton and Verstappen appeared amicable as they discussed their respective race experiences.
Ricciardo, offering insights during a live watch-along of the race with actor and comedian Will Arnett, suggested that Hamilton, like any driver in his position, was keen to acquire information about the Red Bull car’s remarkable performance.
He believes Hamilton approached Verstappen, hoping to exploit any vulnerability and obtain valuable insights to share with his team.
“It’s interesting, you know,” remarked the Australian driver. “I see it as Lewis going up to him, thinking he might let his guard down and try to extract some information about the car to pass on to his team.
“However, Max didn’t give away too much. The conversation seemed rather casual.
“Having been in those rooms numerous times, I understand that you still need to stay focused and avoid complacency.”
Ricciardo’s observations shed light on the dynamics between top drivers as they navigate the fine line between friendly exchanges and guarded secrecy in the competitive world of Formula 1.
While Verstappen displayed caution in divulging specific details about the Red Bull car’s performance, the exchange in the cool-down room serves as a reminder of the intrigue and strategies that unfold behind the scenes.