Daniel Ricciardo‘s second race for the Renault F1 team ended with a retirement with three laps to go, the same outcome as his first race for his new team at the Australian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo started from tenth position on the grid at the Bahrain Grand Prix on a set of brand new soft-compound tyres (C3), and drove a very long first stint, pitting once on lap 24 for the medium-compound tyres (C2) and was the only driver to execute a one pit stop strategy in the race.
In hindsight, the strategy did not pay off. Ricciardo was running in sixth position before pitting for the first time. In his second stint, he had a close battle with his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. The two drivers had a small clash that damaged Ricciardo’s front wing.
Both drivers continued without difficulty as Hulkenberg advanced on fresher tyres as the result of a two stop strategy.
Ricciardo could not defend on his older tyres and had fallen to tenth position. On lap 54, disaster struck for both Renault drivers. They had to retire from the race and brought out the Safety Car.
Ricciardo’s Race Ends Due to MGU-K Failure
Ricciardo retired due to an MGU-K failure and is yet to open his points account in the new season. “A lot happened in the race today. Initially it looked like we had competitive pace and we therefore committed to a one-stop strategy.” said Ricciardo.
“As we got deeper into the first stint I could tell that the tyres were struggling a lot. In hindsight, two-stops would have been better. Towards the end, as the others were coming through, I couldn’t do too much to defend. I wanted to put up more of a fight but it was not possible, sadly.”
Ricciardo was disappointed by the retirement from the race when he was on course to score a point.
“At the end of the race we had an MGU-K problem. It was a very up and down weekend, a lot happened, and we will take some time to absorb everything and come back stronger.”
Ricciardo and the Renault team will hope for better luck at the Chinese Grand Prix in two weeks time.