After enduring a miserable Malaysian Grand Prix that yielded just a single point for tenth place, Daniel Ricciardo has explained how he felt “helpless” in his Red Bull RB11 at the Sepang International Circuit today.
Ricciardo had qualified in an excellent fourth place for Red Bull in the wet qualifying session on Saturday, but quickly dropped back in the dry race.
The Australian driver was also dealing with a brake problem throughout the race, with black dust coming out of his wheels whenever he tried to slow the car down.
Although he was able to manage the issue and pick up a point for P10 behind teammate Daniil Kvyat, Ricciardo made no secret of his frustration after the race.
“I probably had high hopes coming into the race and I was ready for a fight to try to do something special, but the race was anything but special,” Ricciardo said.
“We knew we had a bit more pace in the wet than in the dry, but we still expected to run top five or top six today.
“We damaged the front wing a bit on the first lap, which I think hurt us somewhat, and there was quite a bit going on with the brakes. We couldn’t really look after the tires that well. I think with the other issues we had they were hurting our driving style.
“It wasn’t exciting. I just felt helpless, to be honest. I feel like I came in fired up and ready to go, but it was hard to put up a fight today.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was equally disappointed, saying that the race turned into a game of damage limitation for the team.
“We were managing the situation with the brakes – there was quite a lot of brake dust coming out from early on – and we were concerned at one stage that we wouldn’t get to the end of the race,” Horner said.
“It was a question of damage limitation, of managing our way to the end of the race. To be honest, at no point did we have any real pace this afternoon.”