The Australian Grand Prix weekend did not go to plan for home hero Daniel Ricciardo, who after crashing out of qualifying on Saturday was forced to retire from the race with engine related issues.
The Red Bull Racing driver had started the race two laps down after stopping on track on the way to the grid with a sensor issue, with his mechanics working hard to get him back into the race, only for his race to end after just twenty-five laps due to another mechanical issue on his RB13.
“Not the weekend I wanted at home,” said Ricciardo. “For all these things to happen at my home race that’s probably the most frustrating thing.
“We were on the back foot already after the crash in qualifying and then today we had an issue during the warm up lap followed by a second issue in the race. On both occasions the car just came to a stop so I couldn’t do anything else. But look, it’s the first race so hopefully we’ll move forward from this.”
Ricciardo admitted to feeling disappointed that the fans could not cheer a good result for him but appreciates the support they showed him even in retirement.
“Sure I’m disappointed now but it is what it is,” said Ricciardo. “I’ve been here before so I’ll wake up tomorrow and be motivated to get ready for China. I feel for the fans. I’m sure they would have loved seeing me in action, but I feel super grateful for everyone that came this weekend and supported me.
“Even when I stopped they were still cheering and shouting my name. That goes a long way and it makes me stand here now feeling a lot better than if I didn’t have that so I definitely appreciate their support.”
Ricciardo was also full of praise for his mechanics and engineers who worked hard to prepare the car for the race after his qualifying crash and then repair it when it was brought back to the pits after stopping on track on the way to grid.
The Australian was happy however that team-mate Max Verstappen was able to have a better pace compared to their rivals in race trim than they did in qualifying conditions.
“The boys worked so many hours this weekend, and did a great job getting me out on the track again but unfortunately it hasn’t come together for any of us,” said Ricciardo.
“Max’s pace in the race looked a bit more encouraging, so I think we’re better than what we’re showing but it’s still a bit of a puzzle we’re trying to figure out. If any Aussies have a bit of energy left in a few weeks, then come out to China and you’ll hopefully see a better race from me.”