After last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix win, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo came crashing down to earth again with a more of a mediocre weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix.
“Today wasn’t a very exciting race for me, and unfortunately it just wasn’t my day,” admitted the Australian fan favourite. “Kimi’s (Raikkonen) penalty was a bit of a bummer for us as it put us on the wet side of the grid and that compromised the start,” he reflected.
Ricciardo believed that his own start wasn’t too bad, but was caught up in the traffic caused by Lewis Hamilton, who, once again this season, had an appalling start that put him back to eight position.
“I don’t think my launch was too bad but Lewis obviously struggled to get off the line and I had to go around him through the wet and that made me lose a place to Sergio (Perez).”
“Seb (Vettel) had a good exit out of Turn 14 and made quick work of me on the straight, then he caught Perez quickly as well. That sort of shaped the first stint for me.”
The Australian driver also admitted that the Red Bull struggled with straight line speed and traffic with other cars.
“We struggled to stay close to the cars in front as we couldn’t follow them in the dirty air, and we didn’t have the straight line speed to make an attack. We struggled in the traffic and fell behind the eight ball.”
Ricciardo’s charge came too late for the team, with a strong final stint which unfortunately couldn’t do much damage.
“In the final stint towards the end I had a clear track and I was able put in some good laps but it wasn’t enough.
“I’m not going to get too down about it,” commented the ever optimistic Ricciardo. “I didn’t think there was anything else we could have done today, it was just circumstances and how the race panned out.”
The Australian also appears to have his priorities in order when it comes to the American Grand Prix in two weeks’ time – with food being far more important than the race itself.
“We’ll come back in Austin ready to have a good weekend on track and also eat plenty of barbeque. I’m going to diet for the next few days so I arrive lighter in Austin and can enjoy the local food!”