Vettel told to toe line, says Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo. Pic: Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo says it is a Formula One driver's job to follow team instructions and that he would only consider ignoring a command if it was "completely out of order".

Perth's motor racing ace will suit up for Friday's first practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix knowing he has the recent wood over four-times world champion and Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.

The German has been asked to move aside for 24-year-old Ricciardo by the team in the past two races.

However, Vettel has not always been willing to concede to his junior teammate, with the 39-times race winner openly defying Red Bull officials at last month's Chinese GP.

The reigning champion replied "tough luck" when told to concede to Ricciardo, who was closing in fast in fifth, only to eventually move aside nearly two laps later. Vettel later claimed he had not understood the initial request, given the pair were on the same tyres, while Ricciardo played down suggestions of any rift between the two drivers.

But Ricciardo told The West Australian leading into Sunday's race he viewed it as a responsibility to accept team orders, saying such situations were openly discussed in Red Bull's pre-race briefings.

"We throw up different scenarios and discuss it, discuss it between drivers and between principals and engineers," Ricciardo said.

"It is our responsibility to obey it, unless it's completely out of order and then we can obviously try and put up a fight and give our reasons.

"But the team are doing all the calculations on pit wall during the race and you have to respect what they're saying. It's not always nice if you are being told to move over. It's not nice being that slower car, it's frustrating."

Ricciardo is sitting sixth in the championship running - nine points back from Vettel - but would have been third behind Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton if not for his disqualification in Australia and a pit error that cost him a likely fourth place in Malaysia.

He has qualified ahead of his teammate in three of the four races and believed tension would not flare up if the trend continued.

"We know it ourselves and even told each other that we want to race hard," Ricciardo said.

"I want to race the best version of Seb and he wants to race the best version of me. At the end of the day I think we'll both respect whoever's done a better job.

"Deep, deep down none of us like losing. If Seb's done a better job this year, I won't like it, but I'll definitely respect him for it and give him the credit he deserves.

"I think that's a two-way street. We understand what a fair fight is and we enjoy that."

All four race victories this year have been shared by Hamilton and Rosberg, with Red Bull far slower than Mercedes in adapting their car to the sport's new mechanical regulations.

The West Australian

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