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Ricciardo jokes "I'm happy to be dirty" after Sainz jibe

Ricciardo jokes "I'm happy to be dirty" after Sainz jibe

F1 News

Ricciardo jokes "I'm happy to be dirty" after Sainz jibe

Ricciardo jokes "I'm happy to be dirty" after Sainz jibe
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Daniel Ricciardo has joked he is "happy to be dirty" after Carlos Sainz complained about the McLaren driver during the United States Grand Prix.

On lap 43, Ricciardo was battling to stay ahead of the Ferrari driver through turns 11 and 12 with Sainz attacking around the outside.

As the pair attracted towards each other on the exit of turn 12 and Ricciardo had a momentary bout of wheelspin, the pair made contact with Sainz left with minor floor and front wing endplate damage.

The battle followed on from another close call on lap one at the Circuit of the Americas, with the pair joined by Lando Norris to go three-wide into the braking zone at turn 11.

Ricciardo's ability to stay ahead of Sainz limited the damage to McLaren's lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship, although Charles Leclerc's fourth-place finish helped reduce the gap.

Put to him that he had an eventful race, Ricciardo replied: "At times, yeah.

"At times it was a standard, progressive race, and at times it was interesting. The first lap was a lot of fun.

"I got Carlos at the start and then he got me back with a good move outside of six into seven. I got him back at turn 17 on the inside.

"Three changes of position on the first lap was cool but crucial for me to get a top five.

"Charles showed Ferrari were quicker, we couldn't match that pace, which is something we've still try to find but to beat one of them is quite rewarding.

"He put on a good attack later on in the race as well, went side by side, a little bit of banging wheels. It was very fun and I needed to hold on for everything I could."

After the contact, Sainz instantly jumped onto team radio to complain that Ricciardo was "dirty".

In typical Ricciardo humour with his trademark grin, the McLaren driver responded: "Oh yeah? Alright. Cool. I'm happy to be dirty, it's all good.

"I'm a nice guy so being dirty every now and then is all right."

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