Daniel Ricciardo is loving the “dream scenario” the title fight has arrived at ahead of the final race – and says it is a “gift” for Formula 1.
In a Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that saw Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fight hard and collide, they ultimately finished it in P1 and P2 respectively with the Mercedes man taking an extra point for fastest lap.
As a result, the seven-time World Champion and the Dutchman head into the season’s finale level on points – and it is the first time title rivals have done that since 1974.
Ricciardo has always wanted to witness such a scenario and says it is a “dream” for the sport as a whole.
“That they go to Abu Dhabi with the same number of points is a gift to the sport,” the Australian said, quoted by nos.nl.
“I’ve been hoping for that for years, although of course I’d prefer to be in the fight myself.
“We will have a real final. The veteran who can break all records versus the youngest grand prix winner ever. That’s a magnificent story. A dream scenario.
“I call it a battle royale. The pressure couldn’t be higher. May the best man win.”
Ricciardo is enjoying the battle so much in fact that he tries to follow it on big screens during races – and was glad the red flags let him keep up with it last time out.
“Sometimes I try to follow the race from the cockpit on the big screens but it wasn’t easy in this one. This isn’t really a circuit to watch screens,” he said.
“But all the interruptions and incidents allowed me to follow how things were going between Lewis and Max.”
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The McLaren driver is not the only former team-mate of Verstappen who is loving the title fight we are witnessing, with Pierre Gasly somewhat blown away by the situation.
“It’s unbelievably beautiful for the average neutral fan that this is happening,” said the Frenchman.
“Lewis and Max equal in points. Unbelievable. You are not making it up. I don’t know if we’ve seen it before in Formula 1 history. At least I can’t remember it.
“It’s a crazy scenario. I’m very curious how it will turn out.”
As for the Dutchman’s current team-mate, Sergio Perez, he says he will do all he can to help out the 24-year-old but has not given up hope of winning the Constructors’ Championship with the team either.
“My task in Abu Dhabi is clear,” he said. “I will support Max as much as possible in his duel with Lewis, but we are fighting on both fronts. We can also become world champions as a team.
“Everything is possible. It can fall either way.
“The interests are high and the pressure is enormous. It almost never happens that both titles are still at stake in the last race.”
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