Daniel Ricciardo says there was nothing more he could have done to try and end his time with Red Bull with a podium finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sunday’s race at the Yas Marina Circuit was Ricciardo’s final outing with Red Bull before making the switch to Renault in 2019. The Australian was eager to end the season on a high, but ultimately missed out on the podium at the expense of teammate Max Verstappen.
Red Bull’s strategy of extending Ricciardo’s first stint considerably to give him fresher tyres at the end didn’t pay off due to the low tyre degradation experienced on the super-soft tyres, meaning he wasn’t able to launch an attack on Verstappen for third.
When reflecting on the race, Ricciardo said: “It wasn’t the most exciting race. It was fun, but it put me out of reach with the leaders, so I don’t know if we had much of a choice. I don’t know if we had many other options. We could have pitted earlier and kept track position. It’s always hard to know.
“Lewis pitted really early and probably didn’t think that would go to the end so strongly. So it was all right, just a bit helpless at the end. I couldn’t really do much. The pace advantage initially was strong. And then it fell away quite quickly. We probably just weren’t quick enough.”
Ricciardo leaves the team with seven grand prix victories and 29 podium finishes. He has made the ”shoey” his trademark celebration and Ricciardo admits he’s disappointed he wasn’t able to do it one final time in Red Bull colours.
“I would have loved the podium, so I can’t be ecstatic with fourth. I was a but lonely the last few laps. We close this chapter now, so thanks to Red Bull and the whole Red Bull family. Would have loved to have drank out of my shoe, but we’ll see, still a few hours to go.”