Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2018

Red Bull thought Ricciardo was heading for “another China” win

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Red Bull believed Daniel Ricciardo had a genuine chance to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when they saw how quick he was after his pit stop.

Ricciardo led the race after running a long first stint, then lapped two-and-a-half seconds faster than race leader Lewis Hamilton after his pit stop.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the team’s strategy was to “give him the best tyre for the second half of the race.”

The team thought Ricciardo had a chance to repeat his victory in China, where he used a fresher set of tyres to overtake five cars and win the race.

“When he came out of it and went two seconds a lap quicker than the leaders we thought this would be another China,” said Horner. “We had 26-lap better tyres than Lewis and 16-lap better tyres than Max [Verstappen]. We thought this should give him a competitive advantage to the end of the race.”

However Ricciardo’s pace dropped of soon afterwards and he finished the race behind his team mate. “Unfortunately after that initial kick, once he was able to close up to the group he wasn’t able to get any further.”

Ricciardo ultimately finished fourth in his final race for the team. “We were all hoping that Dan would be there,” said Horner. “Obviously last race with the team, we wanted him to do a shoey for final time. But it wasn’t to be in the end.

“After the pit stop I thought that it might not just be a podium but his race ran out of steam a little bit over the last 10 laps.”

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19 comments on “Red Bull thought Ricciardo was heading for “another China” win”

  1. I didn’t. It never really looked like it was even remotely close to heading that way, LOL.

    1. Yeah, that seems really quite optimistically thought, doesn’t it @jerejj, the tyres were clearly not wearing out very fast (at the pace they were going?). But, makes sense that Horner clarifies that; I will admit (easy, since I wrote it already somewhere on this site ;) I thought they weren’t sad to have Verstappen finish ahead.

      1. @bosyber there will be a degree of ‘we gave him an honest shot’ about this message, for sure. Not sure what else they could have done, mind. IF he comes in a lap before or after Verstappen, people would be saying Red Bull shafted him by not profiting from the harder tyres – there’s no winning. Despite his issues, Verstappen was closer than expected (helped immeasurably by the two SC): the moment he had the first pitstop, Ricciardo was doomed.

        1. Yep indeed @hahostolze, as so often this year (before he again would have a car failure), he just didn’t do enough in the race to overcome Verstappen’s pace and talent at keeping the tyres in their happy place (a bit like Bottas vs. HAM?).

          1. @bosyber I mean, I have probably been quite vocal here about Ver vs Ric in the second half of the season, quite a lopsided affair, but today, what can Ric do? His ideal strategy turned less ideal by a few runners stopping far earlier and Verstappen having been able to extend his run due to two SCs… It’s not even a question of Verstappen doing very well here, once he got the undercut you realised that Ric wasn’t gonna pass. In fact before Gasly blew up it looked more likely Verstappen went after Vettel than Ric after him. The tyre delta plays a key role.

          2. Well no, he was initially on slower tyres, either choice of strategy wrt his team mate would have issues to work, so, there wasn’t much he could do about it. A great start (but both Red Bulls couldn’t) might have put him ahead, and able to gain time on Verstappen a bit, but probably not thanks to the SC and VSC that neutralised the race and kept the gaps small @hahostolze

        2. LOL, hahahahhahahhahahhahahaahahaha. The oranges having a nice one-two over here, like so often. RIC was doomed, lopsided battle, VER getting the best out of the tyres. UTTER NONSENSE.

          “Not sure what else they could have done, mind. IF he comes in a lap before or after Verstappen, people would be saying Red Bull shafted him by not profiting from the harder tyres – there’s no winning.” – There’s no winning as soon as you announce your departure. What else they could have done?? Hahahahhaaaahahahahahah, you orange clown. Tell me, when you write these drivel down, are you wearing your orange goggles? Hahahhhhahahhaaha. What about pitting RIC one lap prior till 6 laps later than VER? You seem to conveniently forget RIC had track position, a 2+ sec delta, better pace and more possibilities than VER, including the same strategy, namely putting on supers. So all aspects were in favour of one driver, yet he still ends up behind the other, slower one. The one who hasn’t beaten his teammates even once in both quali and race at this track and who couldn’t qualify on the ultra’s. While he’s the one who has beaten all of his teammates in both quali and race, every single time up until now bc of RBs strategy not permitting the departing driver finishing in front of the one who’s staying.

          RB saved it’s own and VERs face, making sure the lead that RIC had prior to his announcement, turned into a 79 point deficit, so the superficial follower and the orange FBoys like you lot alike can go into a slumber now in peace.
          And you finally might see your hero beat his teammate over a season for once in 4 years.

          Can you say ziggoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo?? Hahahahhahahahhhahahha
          @hahostolze @bosyber

          1. Dude, you are just sad.

  2. Impossible to repeat that on terrible Yas Marina circuit. This circuit needs to be modified.

  3. A decent thunderstorm was the only thing that may have given DR a winning chance in his last race for Red Bull in Formula 1.
    Now it’s off to race for Renault in Formula 1 and a bit. Should be a good contest with Hulk.
    Pace wise, his now old team will probably be too strong, but with reliability in mind he may be able to compete with Max in the WDC.
    Looking forward to next year to see how it all goes.

    1. @juan-fanger decent thunderstorm would ensure hamilton would be miles away…

      when it started to rain, hamilton started to cover the gap within a few laps… if everyone pitted for interns or full wets, do you genuinely think ric would do better than ham in the rain? the man won every major rain infested races for some years now!

      1. Erm…..Brazil 2016 xD

      2. @mysticus, I said that rain was the only thing that would have given DR a chance to win that race. HAM may or may not have still won in the wet.
        BTW, you do realise that Lewis is fallible, even in the wet? I’m concerned that you might have taken “fan”aticism a bit too far. (This used to be very common amongst LH fans and still is in the Sky commentary team – I’m surprised there hasn’t be calls for the CofE to update the King James Version, although perhaps these days I should be more worried for the sanctity of the NHK.)

        1. “I’m concerned that you might have taken “fan”aticism a bit too far. ”

          Seriously man? have you checked the statistics about rainy races and winner? this is a fact for some time now! If it was one race, you would think it is luck… come on… get off that hate train… or take off those anti ham glasses…

          if you think this is fanaticism, provide your proof or excuse for why would ric get better chance to win the race in rain? because i never said hamilton dont make mistakes! you are trying to put that in my mouth? i said hamilton would be miles ahead in the rain, rather than ric had any better chance than he already had!

  4. How come both RBRs dropped off so badly at the end?

    1. Vettel said that he hoped the tyre life difference with Hamilton would mean he’d gain a bit at the end, but then at the end the Supersofts found some new pace after a while, and that was that, so I’d say, since they stopped later, both Red Bulls weren’t yet at that point, but rather at the bottom of the supersoft well @f1bobby (is that from Bobby K?)

  5. The only priority Red Bull have is Max. Im not sure they even really gave Danny a shot.

    1. They gave him a shot, between the eyes. Exactly the kind of “alternate strategy” Webber used to get – thankfully it’s over now.

  6. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
    26th November 2018, 9:16

    Danny did a great job at Monaco.
    Rest of the season was mostly below par.
    Max was above par after Monaco.

    It’s a stupid conspiracy theory that RBR willingly makes sure that Dan scores less (quali’s, starts, raceperformance, overtakes, points) than Max.
    Dan is a very nice, but het doesn’t got what it takes to be a (future) WDC.

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