Red Bull lost a potential one-two in the Mexican Grand Prix because Daniel Ricciardo suffered a similar failure to the clutch problem which hit Max Verstappen’s car during Friday practice.
Team principal Christian Horner said Ricciardo’s car began to develop the problem early in the race. It forced him into retirement while he was running second behind Verstappen with 10 laps to go.
“It looks like a clutch issue that probably, looking at the data, started on lap six,” said Horner. “It looks similar to the issue that Max had on Friday so we need to obviously get it all back to the UK to understand it but that’s what’s looking like the culprit.”
In response to a question from RaceFans, Horner said the problem did not appear to be linked to Ricciardo’s start. Horner said Ricciardo slipped the clutch too much at the start, suffering wheelspin which cost him places to Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Ricciardo left the track quickly following his fourth retirement from the last seven races.
“He’s had an immensely frustrating afternoon,” said Horner. “You can understand his emotions are running incredibly high.
“It’s gutting not just for him but for the whole team because we were looking at potentially a one-two finish which has enormous value to us. So it feels a bittersweet victory in that it’s fantastic for Max to have driven an outstanding race but I’m pretty confident that Daniel would have been able to hold Sebastian [Vettel] over those remaining laps.
“So you can understand his frustration and hope that this cloud that’s following him around lifts for the final two races.”
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