Red Bull expected Ricciardo to retire during race

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo had to nurse a gearbox problem throughout the Singapore Grand Prix which Red Bull initially expected would force him out of the race.

Team principal Christian Horner revealed the problem limited Ricciardo’s ability to put pressure on race leader Lewis Hamilton.

“On lap 15 we were staring down the barrel of both cars being eliminated,” Horner told Sky. Ricciardo’s team mate Max Verstappen retired from the race on lap one.

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“We’ve come away with a second place here so we’ll take that.”

“Even before the first Safety Car we could see we were losing a lot of oil pressure in the gearbox,” Horner explained. “We thought it was only going to go to half-distance.”

“So Daniel had an instruction to start managing that. And then of course he had to sacrifice lap time doing that. But he did that incredibly well and managed to nurse the car home almost another hour and a half.”

Without the problem Horner said Red Bull “would have got closer and been able to put more pressure on” Hamilton. However he admitted the race winner had been stronger than expected in the race.

“It’s very different conditions today. I think the rain, the rubber being gone, it’s cooler as well than Friday, I think they were all factors. And Mercedes, particularly Lewis – I think we had Valtteri [Bottas] covered today – but Lewis had a really strong day.”

At one stage Mercedes advised Hamilton to back off and not pull too far away from Ricciardo. “You could hear that was what they were trying to do,” said Horner.

“They were watching the clock as well, trying not to do too many laps, mainly not to allow any gaps or fortuitous Safety Cars. We were so focused on the issue Daniel was managing it was just a question of trying to get the car to the finish.”

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    24 comments on “Red Bull expected Ricciardo to retire during race”

    1. So again Ric’s driving has paid dividends, he certainly seems to take care of car better and not push the car to limits.

      1. it is quite the opposite, he does push the car to the limit but not beyond it as evidenced here today.

    2. So, that could have been probably the first podium of Carlos Sainz, but it’s great to see Ricciardo finishing again in the podium, probably the cleanest driver on the grid.

    3. That… Kindof doesn’t reflect very well on BOT, no?

      1. It wouldn’t if it were true, but as it is Horner saying it it probably isn’t.

    4. Strange how we didn’t hear a single radio message about this during the race. FOM(?) usually pick up on this stuff.

      1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        18th September 2017, 10:12


        True. I just watched the post-race interviews on C4 and there Horner says the problem occurred from the “halfway point”, Andrew Benson and Mark Hughes have reported from “lap 5 or 6” and F1Fanatic reports from “lap 15”.

        It was a problem which cost Ricciardo “half a second a lap”, but nevertheless prevented Bottas from catching him. Perhaps Horner is a keen angler? It’s definitely a bit fishy.

        1. My thoughts exactly. had there been a real problem at the time, Ricciardo would have been informed, and so would we via FOM.

    5. like Vettel at monza, sorry had issue thats why i couldnt push :) Rai on the other hand is super honest! He said, he doesnt know where the back end going, which he couldnt control at all… Thats it, setup was messed up, end of story, no jiggly wiggly ghost excuses needed in the car to make up for lack of pace!

      1. well, kimi doesn’t ever have pace does he? excuses wouldn’t fool anyone.

        1. He should have won Monaco this year.

        2. Kimi and Bottas should not have a seat in the two best teams, there’s so much more potential on the grid driving slower cars.

    6. So, is this where Ricciardo’s pace from practice and qualifying went, or was Hamilton somehow simply faster today?

      1. The Mercs definitely found extra, or at least Hamilton did.

        1. Lap times suggested that RIC had a problem, in the long practice runs he was lapping 2 seconds faster. Lewis tyres were older so he wasnt much off the practice lap times.

      2. Daniel also said their set-up was based on high grip and the track is a street circuit it rubbers in a fair bit over the weekend.

        When it rained it washed some rubber away so Red Bulls set up was then compromised. Mercs were then better.

        As for Bottas he said he lost some focus/sight so must have been dehydrated so maybe why he couldn’t catch Daniel.

    7. Interesting strategies, not the most spectacular but still debatable: try to share the same fate as your direct opponent by sticking together. I think this is the first time I hear that.

    8. How does a driver ‘manage’ a gearbox with dropping oil pressure?

      Inquiring minds want to know…

      1. Could be slower gear changes to avoid it locking up.

      2. The idea is to put less energy into the gearbox so the temp and pressure dont go into extremes. RIC was probably shifting up early, down shifting later to reduce engine breaking (which is also adjustable this on their steering wheel).

    9. Red Bull was Right RB13 is “Unlucky for Some a.k.a Max Verstappen” !!!!!!

    10. If the gb issue is true, this must bode well for Rics stocks over Bot for 2019 merc drive

      1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        18th September 2017, 10:14

        @nosehair, I was thinking the same yesterday evening: Bottas’ form has collapsed lately, Mercedes ought to be talking to Ricciardo for 2019.

    11. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      18th September 2017, 10:25

      Just watched this post race interview with Ricciardo, he doesn’t seem to have been made aware of the terribly compromised race that Horner described! LOL!!!

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