Ricciardo laments ‘cursed’ car after 8th retirement of 2018
No driver on the Formula One grid has experienced wretched luck quite like Daniel Ricciardo this season.
The Australian was forced to retire for the second consecutive race at Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, causing his frustrations with his Red Bull car to bubble to the surface.
Ricciardo, who will leave to join Renault at the end of the season, has now retired from eight races in 2018.
“I haven’t had a clean race or weekend in so long,” he told reporters. “I’m not superstitious or any of that bulls***t, but the car’s cursed. I don’t have any more words.
READ: “Remarkable” Lewis Hamilton joins pantheon of all-time F1 greats
READ: Fifth world title for Hamilton as Verstappen doubles up
“Just things are happening on Sunday which I’ve got no more explanation for. The car, I’ll let Gasly (his replacement at Red Bull next season) drive it, I’m done with it.”
Despite an early mistake which meant he dropped from pole to third after the second corner, Ricciardo drove well on Sunday and was on course for a podium place behind teammate Max Verstappen, which would have given Red Bull a one-two finish.
But a hydraulic problem just 10 laps from the end left Ricciardo considering his seat for the final races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
“I don’t think ‘frustration’ is the word anymore,” he said. “Everything feels hopeless.
“You know, honestly, now where I am, I don’t see the point of coming on Sunday. I don’t see the point of doing the next two races.”
READ: The tragic tale of Mexico’s greatest Formula One drivers
READ: Former teammate on how he beat Lewis Hamilton
Ricciardo’s fury was compounded by the sight of Verstappen, driving the same car, taking top spot on the podium in Mexico for the second year in a row.
“He’s just had an immensely frustrating afternoon. You can understand his emotions are running incredibly high,” said Red Bull team principle Christian Horner.
“It’s gutting not just for him but for the whole team because we were looking at potentially a one-two finish which has enormous value to us.
“It feels a bittersweet victory in that it is fantastic for Max to have driven an outstanding race — absolutely outstanding race, but I’m pretty confident that Daniel would have been able to hold off Sebastian [Vettel] over those remaining laps.
“You can understand his frustration, and hope that this dark cloud that is following him around lifts for the final two races.”