Ricciardo keeps faith in Red Bull despite Monaco blunder
Daniel Ricciardo admitted on Thursday that he needed "a few days" to recover from his Monaco disappointment, but said he has retained his faith in the Red Bull team ahead of this weekend’s Canada Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old Australian driver added that the team was set to employ new strategy software in a bid to avoid any kind of repeat of the pit-stop blunder that cost him victory in Monte Carlo.
Ricciardo, who had started from his maiden pole position in Monaco, led until he pitted for slick tyres -– that were not ready for him -- after 32 laps and finally came home second, 7.2 seconds behind the three-time champion Lewis Hamilton.
“There will be some new software for strategy and live stuff during the race that can make us more prepared and, if there are late calls again, ensure everything is put in place,” Ricciardo told a news conference.
“I had some questions to ask and they (Red Bull) answered them with some confidence and I heard what I needed to hear.”
Flanked by two of the sport’s veteran drivers in 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen, of Ferrari, and 2009 champion Jenson Button, of McLaren, the ambitious Australian cut a much calmer and balanced figure than the frustrated one that left Monaco at the end of May.
“I was happy to keep some distance for a few days and, for myself as well, it wasn't probably healthy to address it straight away,” he said, having confirmed that he did not speak to the team after the race.
“For a few days, I was upset I guess. And, obviously, ruing some missed opportunities, but it’s one of those things. It happens. It is unfortunate that it happened back to back after Spain.
“That expanded the feelings and emotion a lot more, but I have moved on. I still have a lot of faith in the team and I don’t doubt things with them moving forward.
“For me, it is really important this weekend to execute a perfect weekend -– we have a good car and good material. It is trying to maximise it.
"The last few weekends, I felt I should have got more. We want to leave on Sunday knowing we have maximised everything from both sides.”
He explained that he had finally spoken to the team by telephone, after taking a few days to calm down.
“It was all over the phone. I let it cool for a couple of days and then (team principal) Christian (Horner) apologised on everyone’s behalf and he explained what went down –- and why there was confusion and why the tyres weren’t ready.
“So that, really, was the phone call. Then, I spoke to my engineer Simon (Rennie) later in the week, after they had a spent a few days in the factory, to hear what they had put in place.
“I questioned the second pit stop, where we lost the race. I questioned the first one as well, as I thought we put ourselves in a race with Lewis (Hamilton) that we didn’t need to be in.
“He said they weren’t looking into it, but acknowledged it was a mistake.”
Having expressed his feelings and freed himself of his emotions, Ricciardo said he was ready to bounce back in style this weekend.
“Realistically, I think Mercedes are still the ones to beat, but I hope we can be the next best.”
© 2016 AFP