Daniel Ricciardo was left with mixed emotions after finishing fourth in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, losing out on a podium to Red Bull Formula 1 teammate Max Verstappen late on.
Red Bull entered this weekend’s race uncertain of its chances after lagging far behind Ferrari and Mercedes in Australia, and struggled to put up much of a fight in qualifying, with Ricciardo finishing a distant fifth.
Damp conditions at the start of the race played into the RB13’s favor, with Ricciardo and Verstappen running in the top three early on, only for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to battle past both in pursuit of leader Lewis Hamilton.
Ricciardo was left chasing Verstappen, who was struggling to manage his tires late on, leading to a frantic battle between the two Red Bull drivers in the closing stages.
Verstappen put up a robust defense to keep Ricciardo back, clinching Red Bull’s 100th podium finish in the process and leaving his Australian teammate slightly disappointed.
“I have mixed emotions. It’s obviously disappointing to miss out on the podium as it was so close today but as a team it’s a good result to finish third and fourth,” Ricciardo said after the race.
“I lost a lot of time in the first stint as I struggled to keep my front tyres alive and that pretty much put us out of a podium position. After the first pit stop I had good balance and speed which meant I could claw some time back and close the gap to the leaders.
“Towards the end of the race I could see that Max was struggling with his tyres but as soon as I got close to him I also began to struggle with mine. The team let us race but even though I was in the DRS zone I was not really close enough to pull off a convincing move.
“I had a look but the inside lines were still quite slippery into the hairpin and I was honestly never really close enough to make a move stick. It was also quite noticeable that the DRS effect is far less on the cars this year which didn’t help.
“As a team we should be pleased with the result and we learnt a lot today but we still have some work to do to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari.”