Daniel Ricciardo says he has come to terms with the disappointment of losing a potential win in the Spanish GP after a strategic call by Red Bull didn’t work out.
Ricciardo finished fourth after making three stops, while Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen were first and second after making two stops. At the time the team thought Ricciardo had the better deal and could win the race, but it took some explaining before the Aussie understood.
“Sure I was disappointed, and it obviously sucked the outcome, to have a win and then not even a podium from a potential victory,” he said today. “I spoke a lot with the team and had a lot of explanations, the reasons why we pitted and at the time it seemed the three-stop was the best thing to do, and at the time they thought Seb was our biggest challenger for the victory, so with me they tried to cover him, and they thought basically the three-stop was going to be the best.
“So it was just, they put the race against Seb and tried to stay in front – what hurt on top of that was Seb going really short in that second last stint, so it meant not only did he undercut me but his tyres were not that fresh towards the end of the race so he couldn’t make much of a difference to Max and Kimi. So it was a combination of them thinking the three-stop would have worked, but they probably didn’t believe the two-stop would have worked as well as it did. It didn’t fall in my favour which obviously sucked, but there was no other agenda behind it.”
Ricciardo said he was no fazed by the attention that Verstappen has been getting.
“What fans are saying or what media are saying, I don’t let it control me. I think in any case, whether strategy or not worked for Max, he still did a really good race. And even if we all had a three-stop, he would still have had a podium wherever it was. He would still have got a podium in his first race with the team, so I think whichever way the race went, Max was always getting a good result.
“He had already done a good weekend and shown he had adapted really quickly so I wouldn’t take anything away from Max – what he has done has been great. And to then win and to make the tyres last was really good. Obviously now, people will say what they want to say – that he is already better or this and that – but he did well. He did very well. That is that. There are still many races to go and many more opportunities for us to get on the podium and wins. I still obviously believe a lot in my ability.”