Daniel Ricciardo still frustrated by Spanish Grand Prix
Daniel Ricciardo admits he is still struggling to accept not winning Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The Australian, who started third, looked on course to take advantage of Lewis Hamilton’s first-lap crash with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, by leading the opening phase of the Barcelona race.
But a three-stop strategy cost Ricciardo the chance of victory, with Max Verstappen, his new Red Bull team-mate, pitting for tyres on just two occasions, to become Formula One’s youngest-ever winner.
Riccardo was also in line to challenge Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for the final step on the podium before he sustained a left-rear puncture on the penultimate lap.
“The outcome of the race was frustrating,” Ricciardo, who – despite his late puncture – crossed the line in fourth, said. “Is it easy to move on? I wouldn’t say easy, but can you move on? Absolutely.
“It has been a few days since the race, but I still wake up with it on my mind. I’m going to bed with it off my mind, but I am waking up with it on my mind. It will take a bit of time.
Part of me is happy that the team is winning again, and I think part of me is happy that everyone is super motivated and confidence is high.
“But from a personal side it was massively frustrating. Sure, it’s a team sport but you are doing it for yourself as well. It is still a hard one to take.”
Verstappen, promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull earlier this month, turned in a masterful display to hold off the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen – twice the 18-year-old Dutchman’s age – to win Red Bull’s first race in nearly two years.
Ricciardo comfortably outscored Vettel in his first season at Red Bull, but the Australian, a three-time race winner, is not concerned Verstappen, despite his incredible Red Bull debut, will dish out the same treatment.
“Max is a serious F1 driver and that’s actually really good for me,” Ricciardo added. “It is definitely a good motivation.
“When I joined Red Bull I was up against Seb and I wanted to challenge myself and now Max is the newest challenge for me and it is a big one.
“It is good he is having this success because if I can get on top of that it is only good for me, and probably both of our careers.