Ricciardo nursed ‘wounded’ car to fourth in France
Daniel Ricciardo nursed a ‘wounded’ Red Bull home to finish fourth after picking up damage to his front wing in the Formula 1 French Grand Prix.
The Australian had been running third but lost out to Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages as he struggled with understeer.
“With Kimi, he was always going to catch me, just with that pace” Ricciardo said.
“We were a wounded car from just before the first pit stop.”
Avoiding the drama at the opening corner, Ricciardo fell behind Carlos Sainz before moving back past of the Renault ahead of his pit stop.
Ricciardo’s race began to unravel in the laps before his stop, picking up damage to his front wing.
The problem was compounded later in the race, with further damage making his ill handling Red Bull easy pray for Raikkonen.
“We had pretty good pace towards the end of that first stint, we were catching Max (Verstappen) and the pulling away from Kimi at the same time,” Ricciardo explained.
“When I pitted the boys said the front left part of the wing was damaged, and they think it happened about two laps before the pit stop because I started to all of a sudden get quite a lot of understeer.
“I don’t know if it was a failure or we hit some debris, but that broke.
“So then already with the soft tyre we were struggling when we left the pits, and then I think a few laps later the team said the right part (of the front wing) broke, so both parts identically seemed to break.
“Whether it was a failure or debris, I don’t know yet, but it happened and we were slow; obviously because of that we have a lot less downforce and (more) understeer.”
Despite losing out on a potential podium, Ricciardo has moved back into third in the drivers’ championship after Valtteri Bottas finished seventh, though is now 49 points away from points leader Lewis Hamilton.