Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2018

Ricciardo: We didn’t think Hamilton would be so strong at the end

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull were caught out by Mercedes’ strategy for Lewis Hamilton and didn’t expect him to have a strong run to the end of the race after pitting early.

Ricciardo led the race after running a long opening stint but dropped out of the podium places after his pit stop, which left him behind team mate Max Verstappen.

“I would have loved a podium,” Ricciardo admitted afterwards. “I can’t be ecstatic with fourth.”

Ricciardo said he had a “lonely” end to the race. “I couldn’t really do much. Obviously third and fourth for the team is solid. We close this chapter now. Thanks to Red Bull and the whole Red Bull family. I would have loved to drink out of my shoe!”

“But as a whole the time here was good,” he added, “some amazing memories and a lot of things I’m sure I’ll reflect on in a few hours.”

However Ricciardo said he wasn’t sure there was a better strategy possible for him in the race.

“It wasn’t the most exciting race,” he said. “I led a bit, that was fun, but it just put me out of reach then with the leaders. I don’t know if we had much of a choice.

“Obviously we could’ve pitted early and kept track position but it’s always hard to know. I think Lewis [Hamilton] pitted really early and we didn’t think that would go to the end so strongly.

“It was alright, just a bit kind of helpless at the end, I couldn’t really kind of do much. The pace advantage initially was strong and it fell away quite quickly. We just probably weren’t quick enough.”

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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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  • 39 comments on “Ricciardo: We didn’t think Hamilton would be so strong at the end”

    1. In the end, perhaps he would have done better by following Hamilton’s strategy, but, most likely he would have been overtaken (or just been there already) by Vettel, and quite likely by Verstappen on newer tyres too. Both Red Bulls had a scrappy start/first lap, which probably ensured they weren’t fighting for the win.

      Still can’t shake the feeling though that Red Bull weren’t unhappy to give Verstappen the strategy that got him the 3rd spot ahead of Ricciardo. Anyway, hope that he and Renault will be fighting to get ahead into the top three rather than looking back at the midfield at their heels next years.

      1. ” (..) and quite likely by Verstappen on newer tyres too.” – VER would’ve never overtaken RIC. RIC was faster from quali onwards and track position is king at this track.


        1. Always nice to see the fanatic Ricci fan trying to save the day ;)

          You will get some difficult years to come, so enjoy your winter holiday..

    2. Yeah, it might have been a bit unexpected to see the MER-HAM having such strong tyre management, but the fact that VER got on the podium instead of RIC, was pure on strategy. It was pure at their direction that the man who didn’t renew his contract with them, the write-off, missed out on a podium in favour of the man who’s staying.

      1. With much newer tires I expected RIC to have more pace than VER. He had that for only 5 rounds. IMHO he’s just not fast enough for his (ex)teammate.

      2. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
        25th November 2018, 16:38

        Max started on hypers, so he was first to pit.
        Max had a very bad start caused by engine troubles and was seriously held up by Bottas.
        It is in line with the season that Dan can’t keep up with Max.

        1. RebelAngelFloyd – Lewis pitted on lap 8; Verstappen on lap 18 – did you attend the Abbotopotamus Acadamy for difficult sums?

          1. @gnosticbrian I believe they were referring to being first of the Red Bull drivers to pit.

        2. The only BS is coming out from your mouth, orange loon.

          1) Up until the pit stops, RIC was in front of VER all weekend long from the very 1st moment it counted, namely Q2 in which it was everybody’s goal from the top teams to qualify on the ultra’s. RIC was about 0.35s faster when being able to get it all together, but in his fastest lap he didn’t. He still was faster with nearly 0.2s nonetheless on hypers in Q3 and nearly 0.3s on ultra’s in Q2, in which VER couldn’t qualify on those ultra’s so needed hypers to do so.

          2) VER wasn’t necessary the first to pit. And apart from that, that in itself is not the reason RIC ended up behind VER. VER was losing 0.5s to RIC at a moment, and RB pitted him immediately, ie at the right moment, bc from that moment on he’d be only losing time every lap on RIC, at a rate of even more than the aforementioned 0.5s a lap bc the hypers would be worn out. Now a sane person would now already see where this is/should be going, having two drivers with one already in front having the better race tyre, but an orange like you, chooses to close his eyes for anything that would imply your idol got beaten. Now RB, if they would have really wanted not to interfere with the on-track battle could have done two, and maybe even three things:
          – Either get RIC in one lap after VER. Heck, he could have gotten into the pits even 1L before VER FFS. The ziggo-watching oranges seem to forget that both would have gotten the supers, so no difference there, no need to give up track position, he was 2s in front of VER, in exchange for a faster tyre.
          Usually, the guy in front gets preferential treatment, or at least doesn’t get punished for being the faster guy, as to not interfere with the intra-teambatt le. Not at RB though. We, bar the ones with the orange glasses like you, have seen it a couple of times, and two of the most infamous, eye-catching ones that come in mind between RIC and VER are Spain’16 and Baku’18 in which RB managed to put the race leader on the alternative, worse strategy and delaying RIC in the pits after he did the hard part, overtaking VER on track, himself (and not before VER almost ruined RICs race by wheelbanging a couple of times). So he had to do it again, they literally came to him on the radio and said to him he had to do it again, despite having shown he was much faster all day long, the two or three times VER had already taken him nearly out with all the wheelbangin’ going on and already actually got the job done, only to see it being undone by them, hahahahahahahah.
          – Or they could have waited to pit RIC at the end of lap 20-23. So in total they had a window of 8 laps (16-23) to pit RIC. After that, it would’ve been necessary for RIC to overtake VER on track due to the nature of the ss tyres on this track: In the first few laps they peak, and after that performance-surplus is worn off, it’s steady.
          – Which brings us to the last option. The hypers should’ve been able to do 8-16L according to Pirelli. VER did 17 of which 6 in (V)SC mode, so the prediction was right. On a nearly empty tank, it should’ve been able to extract good performance for 14-21 laps. And with good I mean superior to the supers of the same age. So RIC would’ve had a 2-step-softer tyre compound than VER and on top of that, 17-24 laps fresher.

          But RB chose something different altogether, which was impossible to work out for RIC. They got him in at the end of L33, and put him on ss. Why?
          With the first two options mentioned above, he was certain to remain ahead of VER. Yet they chose not to. And even the third, , which would be the hardest one for RIC to make it work, so it wouldn’t be smart to choose it in the first place if your intentions were to not compromise RICs race, they didn’t choose.
          Instead they chose he would be coming out of the pits over 8 (to 11?) seconds behind VER on supers, knowing he wouldn’t have enough surplus on VER at the time he would’ve caught him, which happened in about 2 2.5 laps. From there on, RIC could only follow VER as the surplus needed to overtake is that big on this track, like everybody, VER included, said beforehand and afterwards.

          So that’s how you get back at and ruin your departing driver’s race in favour of the one who’s staying and with whom you want to break ‘youngest-records’ for marketing purposes, even when the former had and track position, and a 2-sec lead, and more options with tyre strategy thanks to qualifying, and after catching VER was on average, whenever there was room, about 0.45s a lap faster.

          3) If you would have paid attention the last couple of years, you’d have noticed that VER has always been beaten on this track, both in quali as in the race, by both SAI as RIC. He couldn’t even qualify on the ultra’s.
          And you would have also noticed that RIC has never been beaten on this track, both in quali as in the race. That’s 16 occasions for you.. So that’s 15 plus this one, in which he wasn’t allowed to come in front of the driver who remains with the team.

          Now can you say ziggoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo? Hahahahahhahahahhahahaahhahaahaha
          @rebelangelfloyd Moi

          1. @rebelangelfloyd
            And oh yeah, VER got held up by BOT? Well then, RIC got held up by VET, VER and BOT.

            “It is in line with the season that Dan can’t keep up with Max.” – Dan beats Max in races in a ratio of about 2:1.

            Can you say ziggooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, hahahahahhahahahahahahhahaah.

            I know Max is one relieved guy after last race, finally not having to worry about Dan anymore, hoping his team bails him out on strategy or reliability.

            1. Let see.. the facts that counts..

              More points ( was very important for you last year, but now ;)
              More laps in the lead
              devastating quali battle with the on of the biggest gaps between teammates.
              more podiums.

              But he, down under facts are for wonbats ;)
              Happy times ahead for you.. next year Danny will drive a Renault.

      3. My god what a nonsense. Did you watch the race?

        1. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
          25th November 2018, 17:12

          Every race of the season.
          Danny was good at Monaco!

    3. Have to agree that it cost him the podium. Car in the lead put on the strategy that put him behind. Rosberg commented on it right away too.

      1. He sure did tell it how it is all weekend. Well done Nico! If RBR put DR on the long game way didn’t they at least go all in and gamble on the Hyper? Im sure on low fuel and a rubbered in track in cooler conditions they could have tried a 15-20 lap stint…

        1. Yes, was surprised about no hypers.

    4. I’m glad Danny Ric is moving on. It is clear you need to be considered the #1 driver even to remove any element of ones doubt. Alonso had great success with Renualt so who knows what the future holds. Renualt seem to be investing and putting key people in the right places. RBR say they dont pick favorites however I cant help but think they do. To me they are very good at massaging things at pivotal moments in a way that gets them the outcome they really want. During the Webber days and now a little with DR here & there and on a few occasions your left pondering some of the calls. Christian let us know on TC’s beyond the grid who he thinks is the stronger driver is and who would be playing a support role in the future. Nothing a very capable driver would like to hear from there team boss.. I have nothing against Max he has driven well. I question RBR at times.. All the best DR on your new adventures!

    5. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
      25th November 2018, 17:11

      Glad to see we’re agreeing that Ricciardo is underperforming.
      No agreement yet on wether it’s a conspiracy theory (Red Bull making sure he performs less than Max) or that Max just is performing better than Dan.

      1. Nobody is agreeing with you RIC underperforming, except, halfway bosyber, who’s an orange also. Guess even reading is a hard task for an orange, hahahahhahahahhaha.


    6. How does anyone think Red Bull deliberately pitted Max first? He was on hypersofts, what were they expected to do? Also, Daniel went long on the ultras because Max had already stopped later on hypers than Merc and Ferrari did from ultrasofts; if Daniel covered Max off or anything, he would lose the so-called ‘strategic advantage’ the tyres had to offer… speaking of which, it’s seeming ever more redundant.

      1. Your discarding one important thing. Track position. I personally think they should have tried a 15-20 Hyper stint with DR. Of course RBR would prefer to give max the podium to keep his high going onto 2019 and also send a little FU message to DR.

        1. Martin O. Powell
          25th November 2018, 18:14

          Which team boss in their mind would allow Dan to overtake Max? An error from Seb could of allowed Max to finish 2nd, meaning he would have been 3rd in the drivers championship, good strategy from RBR.

          Just imagine Dan overtakes Max, Seb makes an error under pressure and Dan finishes 2nd and Max 4th?

          1. Indeed, imagine the horror. The horror publicity that is your departing driver getting on the podium and your chosen one limping 2 places behind., hahahahahahhahahahaah.

        2. Coanda, what would RBR gain with that?

      2. How does anyone think Red Bull deliberately pitted Max first?

        You saying they accidentally pitted him first?

        1. Haahahahahahahah, yes he actually is. @pratyushp276 is another notorious orange who will make any kind of argument to state VER is the best ever, while data clearly shows he hasn’t even beaten his teammate the last three years.

          Also, “(..) if Daniel covered Max off or anything, he would lose the so-called ‘strategic advantage’ the tyres had to offer” – Yes, but didn’t occur to you that they could just copy VERs strategy and have RIC still in front with (up to 6 laps) fresher supers? Probably not, hahahahahhahahahhahahah. Ziggo.

          And “Also, Daniel went long on the ultras because (..)” – No, Daniel went long bc he was told to by RB.
          Ziggo, hahahhahahhahahahhaahhahhahahah

        2. @Martin No (apologies for that), I’m saying they didn’t deliberately pit him to screw Ricciardo over strategy-wise.
          And @krxx, I’m not going to bother dissecting your response that contains neither fact nor sane arguments, but I will tell you one thing – you can take your comments like that to motorsport. com, where they belong :)

      3. (@pratyushp276)

        How does anyone think Red Bull deliberately pitted Max first?

        Nico Rosberg was in the commentary box when RB pitted Verstappen, he said they ‘shafted Ricciardo’ by pitting him first. Also they may have waited a bit to long to pit Ricciardo leaving him to big a gap to catch then try and pass Verstappen through back markers.

        1. Looks like everyone is forgetting there was a small chance of rain AND that bottas looked like he was able to defend 2nd place earlier on in the race.

          Therefore, did ricciardo really care about getting 4th instead of 5th? He wanted a podium!

          And if rain had come, mercedes advantage aside, ricciardo would’ve had a good shot in virtue of having to do only 1 stop to get intermediates, while others would’ve needed 2 in total, this could’ve even ended up giving him a 2nd place.

          The commentators definitely mentioned the risk of rain, so this was clearly visible that it must’ve been the reason for red bull keeping ricciardo out, and not favouritism.

    7. People act like Ricciardo got behind due to strategy….. thugh to finish ahead a driver neds better pace, wich Ricciardo simply lacked.

      Despite his compromised start and restart Verstappen got behind Ricciardo real fast, it took some fighting (Ocon), but as we used to Verstappen doesn;t waste much time and to position him right behind Ricciardo before the pitstops was key to get ahead of Ricciardo…regardless of any strategy.

      If Ric would have pitted first, Verstappen would have overcut him with a faster lap…since he was faster on track.
      On hypers Verstappen was always going to undercut, Ricciardo gambled on coming back strong…though it just wasn;t strong enough

      1. Matn, ofc you’d be here, spreading lies.

        I’m gonna comment in chronological order of your lies, starting with the second paragraph:
        – Ofcourse VER was not far behind Ric in the first stint, due to 3 laps of VSC and 3 laps of SC and him being on the hypers and being held up slightly by VET. But from L14 onwards, VER couldn’t keep up with VET and RIC.
        – OCO has a F1.5 car, no fight there.
        – RIC had a 2+sec lead when VER pitted
        – Every strategy would have kept RIC in front of VER, read my above comment, except pitting RIC in the L24-33 window. No coincidence what RB did.
        – BS, orange lies. VER was not faster than RIC, so he wouldn’t have been able to overcut him. Those hypers were done in L17 and RIC was already pulling away from L14 onwards, you liar..
        – No, RIC firstly didn’t gamble and secondly, it’s the team that sets out the strategy.

        Matn = orange VER-FBoy, hahahhahahhahhahahhahhahahaha

        1. krxx we cab see the laptimes of the whole race. Max was the fastest on his hyper tyres and when he ask for a pit he said his tyres were gone. So when should Dan pit before or after?

          Also listening to the radio he was on a long stint i am sure they were not hoping on rain but more expecting Lewis to pit once more.

          1. No facts for krxxx, he builds his own universe with made up facts and lots of fiction ;)
            But next year he will be happy. Danny driving the new Renault would solve all his problems.

          2. @macleod
            We can indeed see the lap times of the whole race. So why don’t you see that Max only could keep up with RIC bc of the 6 lap (V)SC period and bc of Max being on hypers and RIC on ultra’s? Also, RIC got held up slightly by VET. You could see during the race and by looking at the lap times, that RIC was increasing the gap to VER from L14 onwards: VER (4th) couldn’t keep up anymore with VETs pace (2nd). By lap 17 the hypers of Max were done and RB pitted him.

            “So when should Dan pit before or after?” – Like I already said, between L16 and L23. Any of those laps would have ensured RIC to stay ahead of VER and it might have even gotten him in front of VET if they did it in L16.

            “Also listening to the radio he was on a long stint i am sure they were not hoping on rain but more expecting Lewis to pit once more.” – But this argument doesn’t change it at all. RIC wasn’t (even) (only) racing HAM.
            First, why would HAM pitting another time or not change RICs strategy? In fact, RIC was losing big time to HAM beyond L23, every single lap. So that was yet another incentive to get him in earlier than they did. At the time they finally did pit RIC, the gap between them was under 3 seconds.
            So if HAM would still have to stop, he would have been nip and tuck with HAM (and HAM with the faster car), but already lost out to (BOT) VET and VER. If HAM wouldn’t have to stop, he ofcourse also lost out against HAM.

            So pitting in the L16-23 window wasn’t just the fastest strategy for RIC, it was also the best. And thirdly, it was also the most obvious. Everybody knew the supers were the racing tyres and that they could do the whole race. So even 55 laps. If even television viewers have this info, from journalists, surely also the teams themselves have it? And the window for the ones starting on ultra’s was L17-25, as provided by their manufacturers Pirelli. This in combination with the fact that RICs lap times dropped with 1.5s from L24 onwards and that RIC was racing VER, VET and BOT (HAM was the only one of the top teams who pitted under VSC), should’ve been enough of a clear indication that it was time to pit RIC.

            The whole strategy of RB was to get VER in front of RIC. RIC was a write-off to RB ever since the moment he signed the contract with REN and made those phone calls to Marko and Horner. They also don’t let RIC test for REN this week. The VER-FBoys are delusional in thinking VER beat RIC on merit.

    8. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
      26th November 2018, 19:54

      The Dan-fans Go to great length to show that what we see:
      – Max outqualifies Dan
      – Max out-starts Dan
      – Max outscores Dan (podia, points)
      – Max outleads Dan in laps
      – Max gets acknowledged by F1-commentators (former F1 drivers)
      Is not showing that Max is substantially and structurally outperforming Dan.
      Or that it is the outcome of a RBR
      Face the facts!!!

      PS Dan is the better singer & laugher

      1. @rebelangelfloyd Max also had the reliable car.

        1. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
          27th November 2018, 6:16

          Like Dan had in 2017.
          In both years there were enough races to compare in which they both conpeteted.
          (Were in 2017 Max car had reliability troubles when he was heading for victory or podium).

          1. @rebelangelfloyd

            In 2016 RIC beat VER 100 times in quali’s, races and also had 100 FLs. He did this all in just 17 races.
            In 2017 he beat VER 1000 times in quali’s, races and also had 1000 FLs. He did all this in 20 races.
            In 2018 he beat VER 1000000 times in quali’s, races and also 1000000 FLs. He did this all with having a billion DNFs, by no fault of his own. And he did this in just 21 races.

            Orange tool.

    9. RebelAngelFloyd (@)
      27th November 2018, 18:42

      And an even better excuse for the Dan-fans in 2019; he will be driving another car than Max.
      That will be a relief, no need for a conspiracy theory needed anymore!

      PS maybe some preperation required if the Hulk more than every now and then outperforms Dan.

    Comments are closed.