For a short while throughout the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Christian Horner was certain Daniel Ricciardo was about to repeat his heroics from China earlier this 12 months and cost by way of the sector for victory.
Ricciardo appeared to be on the most effective technique after the pit-stop window, having stretched out his opening stint longer than any of the front-runners — which means he had brisker tyres for the second phase of the race. He shortly closed up on teammate Max Verstappen because the Crimson Bull drivers caught the main trio, however his cost fizzled out as soon as they’d bought previous the struggling Valtteri Bottas.
Ricciardo was unable to get shut sufficient to cross Verstappen, which means he signed off his Crimson Bull profession with a fourth place — he’ll transfer to Renault for 2019.
When requested how a lot he needed to see Ricciardo log off his Crimson Bull tenure with a podium, Horner stated: “We have been all hoping that Dan could be there. Clearly with it being the final race with the staff, we needed him to do a shoey for a ultimate time.
“It wasn’t to be in the top. After the pit cease I thought it may not simply be a podium. His race ran out of steam a bit of bit during the last ten laps.”
Horner disagreed with the suggestion that Ricciardo had been neglected a bit of bit too lengthy early on.
“I do not assume so. What we have been making an attempt to do was to give him the most effective tyre for the second half of the race, and when he got here out of the pits and went 2s sooner than the leaders we thought this could be one other China.
He had 26-lap-better tyres than Lewis and 16-lap-better tyres than Max. We thought this could give him a aggressive benefit to the top of the race however sadly after that preliminary kick… as soon as he was in a position to shut up the group, he wasn’t in a position to get any additional.”