But that is only the personal level of the background to what this year has developed into a fascinating duel between two great teams - the well-heeled, well-paid and stylish Italians from Ferrari, and the more pragmatic and modern Mercedes, champions of the last three years.
The transparent safety device, which sits in front of the driver, was attached to Vettel's Ferrari during opening practice for the British Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel complained that he felt dizzy and struggled to see properly after he became the first driver to test the "shield" protection screen yesterday.
At the end of Friday's running, Vettel revealed he had planned to carry out more running than he actually completed but said he was feeling the effects of looking through the device.
"For sure it doesn't help".
The Scuderia have introduced their third engine of the season at Silverstone as they chase their first victory at the power-hungry circuit since 2011. "So, when you don't deliver and other things are stacked up against you, it's hard to come out smiling and be 'Oh, yeah, that's fine', because that means you don't care enough".
"It should [help Ferrari]". I don't know. Today was a bit mixed, for us.
Ricciardo produced a spectacular moment when he lost control of his spinning car at Club corner, but managed to catch it before hitting the wall.
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