Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2018

Ricciardo: Talk of missing last two races wasn’t serious

2018 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo says comments he made after the Mexican Grand Prix suggesting he would miss the final races of 2018 were not meant to be taken seriously.

The Red Bull driver said he was feeling emotional after dropping out of the race, which was his fourth retirement out of the last seven rounds.

“Even when I said it, I know I’m saying it in an emotional state, deep down I don’t really mean it,” he explained.

Ricciardo decided to post a video on social media confirming he will take part in the final two rounds after discovering some people had taken his words at face value.

“I didn’t read any media that week but I believe some people actually thought I might not come. So I though it was good – probably good for the mechanics as well to make sure they know what seat to put into the car – just to kind of let everyone know. I didn’t do anything after the race or anything like that so [it was] just to let everyone know I was doing OK.”

Ricciardo feels he’s borne the brunt of Red Bull’s technical problems since the middle of last year.

“I look last year, the first six months Max [Verstappen] seemed to have most of it if not all of it and then the last six months I seemed to have most or all of it. Last year in a way it was spread out between the both of us.

“This year certainly it’s been more me. I mean Max had the failure in Budapest I remember and maybe somewhere else but it’s still been a lot more top-heavy for me this year.

“But I don’t really have any explanation. It’s just, I think it sounds really simple and kind of silly, but bad luck is the best phrase I can use and best term. All the team still like me, no one’s got it in for me, it’s just been the way it’s worked this wary. I’ll keep trying.

“I know Sunday afternoons I’m pretty pissed and animated but honestly I wake up Monday and I’m ready to go again. It doesn’t last too long.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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17 comments on “Ricciardo: Talk of missing last two races wasn’t serious”

  1. Ooh, can’t resist: “Dan’s overdriving the car, so it’s breaking down” ;-)

    1. @phylyp: Better that than my tinfoil-tinged lucky luck-breaking Horner remote control.

  2. It’s a pretty sad indictment of our times that he’s even had to clarify this. He is a professional driver with a contract to race, obviously he was going to race. He made a flippant comment in the heat of the moment, it was clear he didn’t really mean it.

    1. Did he have to clarify it, or was he asked to? I wonder… @geemac

      1. I’m certain he was asked @phylyp and that’s what I have an issue with. The question shouldn’t have been asked.

      2. @phylyp He was asked this in the interview and he said it was his own decision to post the video on social media, but he thought the team would appreciate it.

        1. Thank you for the clarification, Keith!

    2. Indeed but just to send a message he should have walked away from racing last 2 races. If he gets furthur DNFs its going to be even more of discourging for him. I know he being a professional will show up for last 2 race weekends while the Horner and Marko will be treating him like a 3rd class citizen.

      1. If he gets another DNF, he will indeed walk away. And ask for a ride back to the paddock.

      2. I guess being treated like a 3rd class citizen is being offered a multi-million dollar contract at a top sports team and you turning them down? Unless you think a team that’s won the championship 4 times are so amateurish they’d deliberately sabotage one of their drivers and throw away vital constructor’s points? Horner has only ever praised Ricciardo, constantly. How fans can turn that into some kind of abuse really leaves me wondering how people deal with everyday reality when their wires are so crossed.

        1. The gap between 3rd place and 4th place in constructors place is massive and given how competitive mid field is RBR can afford to loose last 5 races while Renault having to win(1-2) just to close up that gap of 248 points. I am not saying team is deliberatly sabotaging Ricciardo, just that they seem to handing him lemons to the point that it seems quite deliberate. Ricciardo is on verge of getting record for most DNFs due to mechanical reasons in a single season.

          1. I simply can’t remember Horner saying anything other than complementary about Ricciardo and until the latter announced he was leaving, he always insisted Red Bull had the best driver line up, perfectly true. They clearly wanted him to stay. Marko clearly sees Verstappen as the future, and much as it annoys some here, he’s right. We saw this year the difference Hamilton made over Vettel. That’s the same kind of difference Verstappen will make, a once in a generation driver, and Red Bull clearly had to fend off Mercedes and Ferrari to persuade him to sign for them with a big new contract. I get that doing so may have unsettled Ricciardo, but that’s just a reality he had to deal with, it wasn’t about him. On the other hand, Ricciardo hasn’t helped himself with some of his comments this year, like saying he’d rather just turn up for the races, thinks MV is a ‘nerd’ for paying attention to the mechanical side of racing, and saying maybe he’d hand over to Gasly. None of those attitudes is professional.

          2. Yeah for me I only ever thought DR’s comment was out of frustration. RBR consider him family as far as I can see. And also, it’s not like he has lost a chance for the WDC with his unreliability. He’s frustrated understandably, but so would be the whole team.

          3. @robbie: Atleast in 2nd half of season, everytime Ricciardo’s car failed Horner was more than happy make a stabbing comment that Ric should talk to his future employer. It just feels like RBR did break Ric just like they did with Webber. Also the shift in dynamic came probably after Baku crash where even though Verstappen was predominantly responsible for crash, he was let off the hook easily.

  3. I’ve lost some respect for Ricciardo.

    He’s been beaten legitimately by Verstappen but is trying to create this smokescreen where he’s implying that he’s been treated as the number 2 driver.

    He went to Renault because he couldn’t compete with Verstappen any longer. It doesn’t matter how unlucky he’s been with reliability. He was never beating Verstappen on raw speed.

  4. I really can’t believe he’s been asked to clarify these comments. It seemed obvious to anyone with half a brain that he’d still be driving this weekend and next.

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