Following a disappointing 2018 Belgian Grand Prix in which he retired, Daniel Ricciardo has offered some perspective, stating that “a lot of people would love my bad days.”
Ricciardo was involved in contact at the first corner of the race with his rear wing being ripped from his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14. The team replaced the damaged wing as Ricciardo lost a lap to the rest of the field but ultimately the Australian retired the car with fourteen laps to go.
“I don’t know exactly what happened at the start,” said Ricciardo, “but I felt a tap and to be honest I just remember sliding and the next minute I hit the back of Kimi. It was just a Turn 1 incident and apologies to Kimi if his retirement was down to me, but I’m pretty sure it all started behind me and was a chain reaction.”
Several cars made contact at turn one with the most dramatic being Fernando Alonso’s aerial contact with Charles Leclerc’s Alfa Romeo Sauber.
“It was a big crash for quite a low speed corner and I think Hulkenberg hit Alonso pretty hard from what I heard,” Ricciardo continued. “My rear wing was pretty much ripped off and the mechanics tried to get me back out with a new wing before we went a lap down; we just missed that but they did all they could.
“We tried to stay out and hope for a Safety Car so we could get back on the lead lap, but we couldn’t just keep racing and hoping until the end, so we chose to retire with 14 laps remaining to save mileage on the engine and gearbox.
“After the rear wing change there was still some damage on my car as they had to fix it so quickly, we overtook quite a few cars but we weren’t really that fast and we were just circulating.”
Despite suffering one his more disappointing weekends just weeks after hitting the headlines with the announcement that he’d be joining the Renault Sport F1 Team for 2019, Ricciardo remained philosophical about his Belgian DNF.
“Just one of those Sundays I guess. A lot of people would love my bad days, there you go, perspective. We will try again in Italy.”