Only one side of the Red Bull Racing garage had a positive United States Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen having to retire.
The Milton Keynes based outfit was looking promising in the opening stages of the Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, with both drivers running in the top five. With how promising their pace was, it looked like at least one of their drivers should finish on the podium. It all came crashing down for Verstappen however after a gearbox failure led to his retirement.
With marshals unable to safely remove the RB12 from the circuit, a virtual safety car was deployed, and this gave some drivers the opportunity to pit. This compromised Daniel Ricciardo‘s quest for a higher position as both Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers took advantage of pitting under the virtual safety car.
This allowed Nico Rosberg to jump Ricciardo for second, meaning Ricciardo was forced to settle for the bottom step of the podium, and Team principal Christian Horner believes if Rosberg didn’t pit under the safety car there would have been a fight on the circuit for second.
“Taking away a podium finish and extending our lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship to 53 points are positives,” said Horner. “A DNF on Max’s car due to a gearbox failure is a negative out of today.
“But Daniel drove an excellent race, he did everything he could, he got the track position at the start with the softer tyre and held that through the first round of pit stops. Unfortunately the Virtual Safety Car (VSC), ironically caused by the issues with Max’s car, gave Nico a free stop and track position on Daniel.
“Without that we would have had track position on Nico, who would have had a softer tyre available to him, but it would have been a fight on the circuit between the two guys rather than dictated through the VSC. So all in all, positives to take out of this race and we look forward to the Mexican Grand Prix in one week’s time.”