Poor start ruins Ricciardo’s Chinese GP chances

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Daniel Ricciardo’s hopes of a top five finish at the Chinese Grand Prix were dashed within seconds of the race starting on Sunday, as a poor start dropped him to the back of the field.

The Red Bull driver lined up sixth on the grid, but dropped to 17th after the anti-stall system on his car was activated, causing him to make a slow getaway.

Despite managing to fight through the field and finish in ninth place, Ricciardo made no secret of his frustration after the race.

“We got into anti-stall on the start, which hasn’t happened before,” Ricciardo said. “We have to look and see what happened. It’s frustrating, that shaped the race and in the traffic we struggled to get by.

“At least some positives are that we learned a few areas where we need to improve and the smart guys in the team can find a solution.

“I had a little battle with Daniil [Kvyat], I don’t know if I was optimistic in trying to get past, we were on different race strategies but we’ll sort it out in the debrief.

“We underachieved today, but hopefully we find something in the next few days and have a better result in Bahrain.”

Ricciardo was the sole Red Bull to finish the race in China as Kvyat was forced to retire on lap 25 due to an engine failure.

“This weekend has been a bit tricky, and not the happy ending we would have liked,” Kvyat said. “I saw a lot of smoke coming from the rear of my car, I am not sure what happened but the team are investigating.

“It’s not an easy situation, but we have to stay strong, I am with the team and we will all work on it together, and we’ll keep our heads high heading into Bahrain.”