Daniel Ricciardo qualified fourteenth in Qatar and finished the race in twelfth place. The race weekend was therefore disappointing for the cheerful Australian. Due to a mistake in his car, he had to save fuel for half the race, he tells Motorsport.com.
Teammate at McLaren, Lando Norris, saw fourth place evaporate due to a flat front tire. Ricciardo couldn’t even reach the top ten due to a fault in his car. It is yet another disappointment of the season, in which he did manage to take a victory in Monza.
The former Red Bull driver lost about two seconds per lap because he had to save fuel: “I had to save fuel extremely early after the start.” Ricciardo did, but it had to be a little more economical. By saving fuel, you drive differently as a driver: “Your brakes cool down, the tires get cold and you also lose grip. You are in a downward spiral.” Ricciardo says he’s never had to save so much gas.
Error in system
The bad news came later in the race, saving fuel was apparently not necessary at all. “Wait, I don’t have to save anymore? I was confused,” Ricciardo responded to his engineer’s report that wrong data had come in. “I was just able to get the fast times when I was allowed to push,” says Ricciardo. Once he was able to drive at full speed it was already too late and there was no more than P12.