Daniel Ricciardo was left to rue a missed chance to claim back-to-back podiums after a suspected electrical fault ended his Belgian Grand Prix prematurely.
The Western Australian appeared to be in contention to challenge for a podium when his Red Bull RB11 lost all power on lap 21, forcing the 26-year-old into retirement from fifth position.
Ricciardo had climbed to third on the opening lap behind Lewis Hamilton and the fast starting Force India of Sergio Perez after a strong getaway from fifth on the grid.
The Red Bull driver, who won last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, was expected to challenge for a podium in the final quarter of the race, courtesy of scheduled soft tyre stint.
Ricciardo suspects an electrical fault caused him to grind to a halt at the final corner, prompting the deployment of the virtual Safety Car.
“It’s disappointing not to finish, we are not sure what the issue is but the team are investigating,” said Ricciardo.
“I lost power going into the chicane, everything switched off, including the dash.
“It looks like it’s electrical but we’ll see what the investigation brings.”
After team-mate Daniil Kvyat charged from 12th to finish fourth, Red Bull boss Christian Horner is confident Ricciardo would have been in the fight for a podium had the issue not occurred.
“It’s a shame for Daniel, he had a great start to move up to third,” said Horner.
“He was running a similar strategy to Dany (Kvyat) and I’m sure he would have been challenging for the podium.”
Renault has confirmed a full investigation will be undertaken to determine the cause of the technical fault.