Ricciardo opens up on dismally sad truth
A FRUSTRATED Daniel Ricciardo has bemoaned his luck after another engine failure at the US GP, and admits he is "running out of races" to celebrate with Red Bull before he leaves the team at the end of the season.
Ricciardo, in fourth at the time, was forced to retire after just 10 laps in Austin due to an energy store issue on his power unit, which is supplied by the team he is joining for F1 2019, Renault.
It was the seventh DNF of the season for Ricciardo, more than any other driver, and five of those have been down to mechanical failures.
"It's incredibly frustrating to retire so early in the race and I just don't seem to have any luck at the moment," the Australian said.
Ricciardo has two victories this season, last winning in Monaco, but hasn't stepped on the podium apart from that.
"The biggest shame is that I only have a handful of races left with Red Bull and I want to have more highs than we've had," he continued.
"I want to be able to celebrate with the team at least one more time and be on the podium to enjoy that feeling, but we're running out of races which is pretty tough to take at the moment."
To add to his disappointment, Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen went on to finish second and just behind race-winner Kimi Raikkonen.
Ricciardo was comfortably ahead of Verstappen before his power outage.
He added: "Now, seeing how the race played out makes it even harder to take as it could have been pretty interesting."
It was certainly a missed opportunity for Ricciardo, and his anger seemingly boiled over after the race.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner revealed Ricciardo punched a wall in his driver's room.
"l feel so sorry for him because it looks like the identical power unit failure that he had in Bahrain," Horner told Sky F1. "He was driving a strong grand prix. I'm sure he will be having a word with his future employers about it.
"He has just taken his frustration out in his room by putting his fist through a wall and you can totally relate to that. He knows the team isn't to blame in any way, we are doing all we can."
HAMILTON KEEPS TITLE PERSPECTIVE
Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes already understand more of the reasons for their surprise US GP struggle and will "go back to the drawing board" for Mexico, when he will have a second chance to clinch his fifth world title.
Hamilton was made to wait at least seven days to seal the drivers' championship after slipping from pole position to third place in a pulsating Austin race won by Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton has won the previous four races but conceded Mercedes "weren't quick enough" in Texas when he was beaten by both a Red Bull and a Ferrari.
"There are a lot of things that we could have done better and there are certain things that weren't optimum for us which made it look even worse than it was," said Hamilton, who was the only top-five finisher to make two pit stops.
"Ferrari gained a bit of pace and we seemed to lose a little bit of pace here. But we'll go back to the drawing board and that's why we're the best because as a team because in there no one is to blame, we all take the blame together.
"I know the guys will do great analysis from today over the next couple of days and we'll come back stronger the next race."
While acknowledging a return to form for the Scuderia, Hamilton, fresh from Mercedes' post-race debrief, added: "There were a lot of things that were against us. I've only just discovered certain things, which make a lot of sense.
"Naturally then being that we were on the back foot, you could say strategy and all these different things, we weren't quick enough today.
"But we are still in a great position and for me there is frustration because I want to win the title for the team. Today we lost points in the constructors' (championship) with the team and collectively we've lost performance in some areas. But I think we know where it is. We still have three races to go."
Hamilton also suggested the fact the team were forced to change their two cars' water pumps on Sunday morning may have been a factor in their disappointing display. Hamilton also said his car's floor sustained damage from on-track debris during the race.
"Everybody was in the same boat with the lack of running (on Friday) and I think we did a really good job with our decision making and where we got the car to," said Hamilton. "But you saw the car was in a million pieces this morning, so it wasn't ideal for the race.
"Probably if we hadn't had to have a morning like that, our race outcome would have been a bit different potentially."
Hamilton added: "The outliers were that we didn't have great pace and we had worse tyre usage than everyone else, which is rarely ever the case.
"So I think we were forced into a two-stop race for certain things we had that weren't ideal with the car and we didn't know was going to be the case when we got into the race. It was a struggle, the car was a real handful."