Ricciardo left lamenting first lap error as Red Bull struggle at home
Daniel Ricciardo was left rueing a first lap mistake after a dismal home grand prix for Red Bull Racing in Austria.
Ricciardo, who started fifth on the grid, after out-qualifying his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the fifth time this season on Saturday, lost out badly off the start-line, dropping down to tenth after he was forced out wide at turn one on the opening lap.
“It was frustrating – it’s never nice going backwards on the first lap,” said Ricciardo of the incident.
“Off the line it was actually one of our better starts. I basically tried to hang around the outside and it was the wrong thing to do as if you get on the other side of that sausage kerb, you just lose too much on the exit.
“So I got swamped onto that long straight and we struggle too much on the straights as it is.
“I was frustrated with myself for that.”
The Australian, a first time winner last time out in Canada, admitted that his last lap move on Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg for eighth position had at least given him something to smile about, on what had been overall a disappointing grand prix.
“The last lap move put a smile on my face, but otherwise it was a pretty sad race,” he added. “I hadn’t really done anything good all day so I figured I had to do something.
“I got in his tow, got close enough and thought ‘what the hell, let’s go for it’.”
Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel, who failed to finish the race, revealed that he and the team had in fact opted to retire his car, in an effort to conserve his Renault power unit.
The German had an incident packed race, grinding to a halt early on after an electrical issue, which righted itself, struck, dropping him to the back of the field, where he latter clashed with Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, requiring a new nosecone.
“We tried to save some mileage in the end,” explained the four-time champion. “I don’t believe in luck, we had lots of issues on my side so far but unfortunately it’s part of the game, it’s always been a part of Formula 1 and always will be.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July 2013 as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. Following a promotion, Dan has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at four grands prix. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaining his own modest blog.