Daniel Ricciardo looked on course for a podium at this weekend’s French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard, until his car suffered front wing damage during the race.
The Red Bull lost a lot of downforce which affected his speed, leaving Ricciardo wide open to being caught and passed by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the closing laps.
“I’m obviously a bit disappointed and it’s a shame to lose out on the podium today,” he said. “We were definitely quicker than fourth place and it could have been a good battle with Max.
“We had a pretty good pace towards the end of that first stint,” he recalled. “Before the pit stop we had really good pace on the supersofts.
“I don’t know how good compared to Lewis as he was so quick, but it seemed that we were pulling away from Kimi and catching Max.
“When I pitted, the boys said the front-left part of the wing was damaged. They think it happened about two laps before the pit stop
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“I don’t know if it was a failure or if we hit debris, but that broke,” he explained. “I started to all of a sudden get quite a lot of understeer.
“We were struggling when we left the pits. A few laps later the team said the [front-]right part broke. So both parts identically seemed to break.
“Whether it was failure or debris, I don’t know yet,” he sighed. “It’s disappointing I guess.
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“But it happened and we were slow,” he continued. “Obviously because of that we had a lot less downforce and understeering.
“Kimi was always going to catch us with that pace. The blue flags, that was really bad. We were a wounded car from just before the first pit stop.
“It was a shame as we looked quite strong today,: he added. “The positive is that we got some decent points. But we were definitely quicker than fourth and just unlucky this afternoon.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner commiserated with his driver about the lost podium. Ricciardo was able to battle on and finished the race in fourth place while his team mate Max Verstappen finished in second place.
“It’s just a shame with Daniel, that the front wing [was damaged] on about Lap 20 or something,” Horner said.
“The top two elements of the flap became disbonded. I think maybe some debris or something like that has hit it. It’s frustrating. It would have been nice to have both of them on the podium.”
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