Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo knows the recent retirements from Formula 1 races is not a deliberate action but just luck not going to his side at all.
The Australian was visibly delighted with pole on Saturday as it looked like some luck will go his way finally last weekend in Mexico. But little did he know, the spell continued on with yet another retirement – his eighth of the 2018 season.
Since the win in Monaco, Ricciardo has had six retirements whereas his teammate Max Verstappen has scored two wins and six podiums. The Mexico’s shock came on Lap 61 – only 10 laps away from seeing the chequered flag.
He did not have a great start as dropped to third with Verstappen leading Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. He had a race long battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel whom he had lost to at one stage but Vettel’s second stop put the German at the back of Ricciardo again.
It was when they were battling for second when the Australian’s car let go of him – with a suspected hydraulic issue, a problem which Verstappen faced during the weekend as well. It wasn’t Renault related this time around.
But it was enough to disrupt Ricciardo’s mindset as he vented his frustration hugely when talking to the media, to the extent as he questioned whether he should even bother turning up for a race weekend and compete on Sunday with such luck.
He thought it was better off for Pierre Gasly to drive the car as the motivation is slowing going off. He admitted that he doesn’t believes in superstitions but he certainly now feels that his car his ‘cursed’ at the moment.
The Australian though disregarded the fact that anyone is deliberately damaging his car – with the speculations growing among fans that Red Bull is doing on purpose with Ricciardo moving away to arch rivals Renault next season.
“I saw pass fail on my dash which I guess was some sort of hydraulic failure and I was forced to retire immediately,” said a dejected Ricciardo. “This sucks and it is at a point where I feel why should I even come on a Sunday.
“There hasn’t been a clean weekend for so long due to many different reasons and it’s breaking my heart. Deflated comes to mind but this feels deeper than that. I put it on pole but lost out at the start.
“It just doesn’t seem to happen for me on a Sunday, even if I have a good Saturday. I don’t want to end it like this and I know nobody is doing it deliberately but I just can’t seem to catch a break and a double podium for the Team today was exactly what we all wanted.
“I’m a very positive guy and I will probably still wake up tomorrow with some sort of positivity.” Tables have turned such that Verstappen is closing in to challenge for third place in the championship whereas Ricciardo is certain to finish sixth.
It was indeed a bittersweet result for Red Bull though as Verstappen finished on the top step. Team principal Christian Horner could do nothing but apologise to Ricciardo for the retirement which he said the team will investigate thoroughly and fix it up by Brazil.