Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo has not had the best of seasons, ever since he joined the French manufacturer. Now, after both cars failed to finish in the points in the Spanish GP, the Australian was understandably furious. He pinned the blame on their strategy for losing out to McLaren driver, Carlos Sainz.
So far this season, the team have finished in the points on two occasions out of 10 potential ones. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg grabbed a points finish in Australia, while Daniel Ricciardo bagged a few points in the Chinese Grand Prix. After Daniel Ricciardo got into Q3 in F1 qualifying, another point-scoring finish was on the cards at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya circuit in Spain.
However, Daniel Ricciardo failed to account for his grid penalty for backing into Daniil Kvyat in the previous race. It got worse in Barcelona when he pitted and emerged on the hard tyres, while Sainz performed the undercut. To his dismay, Sainz would eventually finish 8th, four places ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.
“I am frustrated. I see Carlos Sainz riding in the points here and that is what I was sitting for,” he admitted.
“We opted for the hard tyre and he for the medium tyre. He passed us in his outlap. He finished where we wanted to finish.
“To be honest, we didn’t give it home here. We didn’t get the maximum out of the car because I think points could have been possible.
“It’s small things that make sure you can’t score points in midfield. We just haven’t got it right yet and we’ll have to improve.”
Meanwhile, Hulkenberg ended up behind Daniel Ricciardo in P13, capping off another disappointing weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix. It was one of the worst finishes for a team who ended last season in 4th in the Constructors’ Championship.
Their shortcomings came up inspite of an updated Renault engine, which failed to deliver a performance boost. While it was not entirely the engine’s fault, Hulkenberg agreed with Daniel Ricciardo on the strategy front.
“It would always be difficult. We could have gone for a one-stopper, but we had to use the full potential of the tyre,” Daniel Ricciardo explained.
“The safety car at the end the race didn’t matter to us. I think some points were possible.”
The German was in a good position to make some decent progress towards the end of the race on soft tyres. Sadly for him, the safety car ruined everything and his attack was toothless.
“At the restart, we had ten laps in the softest compound, but it didn’t work. I also couldn’t connect with the group in front of me,” he confessed.
“The only good thing about the story is that we were able to test the new engine and that I reached the end of the race. We want to take advantage of this in the future.”
“I am happy with the speed of the car, but we still have a balance problem. The lap times are still fluctuating too much, we have to work on this, certainly at the end of our runs.”