Daniel Ricciardo admitted that he felt he had the chance to take victory in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix in the early stages as he kept in touch with the lead battle, but tyre struggles meant he lost that opportunity, ending up almost forty-seconds down at the chequered flag.
The Red Bull Racing driver felt the early laps gave him hope as he watched from behind as drivers seemed to struggle with their tyres, but despite jumping to third behind the safety car, the second half of the race were more of a struggle as he suffered tyre issues of his own.
Ricciardo eventually was forced to settle for fifth, well behind the Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers, and he rued the tyre issues that cost him the opportunity for a better result.
“For me it was a race of two halves really,” said Ricciardo. “At the beginning of the race I genuinely thought we had a chance to win.
“That stint was looking very competitive and I could see Valtteri [Bottas] was struggling. I was at the tail end of the front pack and I could see everyone else in front of me. They were sliding and looked like they were struggling more.
“It was quite easy for me to stay there and I was looking after my tyres, so at that point I was thinking it could be on today, not only for a podium but for a win. The safety car worked for me in that we jumped up to third but it wasn’t so good for our tyres and that’s where we lost a lot of ground.
“Even once we settled into a pace and the chaos settled we fell back and I was struggling with grip at the front and rear. We never really got that tyre working for us today.”