Daniel Ricciardo claimed his maiden F1 pole position in the qualifying for the Monaco GP, but he could not hold the leading position in the race as his team failed to deliver the perfect strategy for him. The Australian could not hide his utter disappointment.
The race started behind the safety car as conditions were too dangerous in the first minutes. As the field was released, Ricciardo gradually built up a solid lead over the then second-placed Nico Rosberg who was fighting with low brake temperatures.
The three-time GP winner was called into the box while his rival Lewis Hamilton stayed out waiting for the track to dry up.
“On the extremes in the beginning we were quick and I did everything I had to. I asked a couple of times how the people on inters were doing but they said that my pace was really good on the extremes so we stayed out and that was no problem.”
"And then they said “box this lap”. We put the inters on and then we came out behind Lewis.”
The Perth-born caught up with Lewis at a frightening pace and then was called in for dry tyres one lap after the Briton. However, his crew was not prepared for him and lost almost ten seconds waiting for his mechanics to crawl out of the box with the right tyres.
“Then when Lewis pitted we tried to pit the lap later to overcut him. It was all prepared and then I came into the pits and there were no tyres.”
The ever-smiling Australian was not able to force his mouth to turn up on the rostrum.
“I actually hate being like this. I hate being miserable. I got a podium in Monaco. I should be extremely happy, grateful and thankful.”
Ricciardo's disappointment followed major disappointment at the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago, where Red Bull Racing split strategies between its cars, and eventually put Ricciardo on the slower of two strategy options, handing away the win to Verstappen instead.
“I’ve been fast now for two races and that’s the positive, but again no win so I’m a little bit sick of being fast and not getting any real rewards. I don’t like being the sad story,” added Ricciardo.
Red Bull 's team principal, Christian Horner, agreed that Ricciardo didn't put a single foot wrong during the entire Monaco GP weekend, and had only itself to blame for losing out on the Monaco victory.
“A very disappointing day. We as a team owe Daniel a huge apology today as we failed to support him in the way we did to get him to his first pole position yesterday. The delay at his pit stop cost him the lead and despite some excellent driving to get close to Lewis, he couldn’t get past, as is so often the case here in Monaco."
Horner continued to explain how exactly Red Bull failed to get the tyres ready in time for a swift second pitstop for Ricciardo.
"Based on how we are set up here in Monaco, the pit wall is upstairs and the garage is downstairs.
"The tyres are on heat both in the garage and behind the garage, and unfortunately the set of tyres that were called for were not readily to hand, and were at the back of the garage.
"There was a scramble with the mechanics, originally having the soft tyre ready, the yellow tyre. And when that change was requested to go to the super soft, those tyres were actually right at the back of the garage.
"They couldn't be got to the car in time, which cost probably about 10 seconds in the stop."