Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo says that the lack of pace both he and his teammate Max Verstappen experienced in Baku was “really unexpected”.
Ricciardo had qualified an impressive third after being off the pace during the practice sessions, and was promoted to the front row of the grid after Sergio Perez served his five-place grid penalty due to a gearbox change.
However, when it came to the race, The Red Bull struggled to get the softer compound tyres in their optimum working temperature and were forced on to the medium compound for the remainder of the race.
“Starting second and at least staying there for a couple laps, we put ourselves in a good position to fight for the podium. But we didn’t have the pace,” Ricciardo said.
“I don’t think we made any mistakes on track, or with strategy. I don’t think that there was anything we could have done today, it was just that we suffered with rear tyres. Already on lap four I was wheel spinning in fourth and fifth gear, so that was a sign that it was going to be a tough day.”
Although the Baku street circuit shares similarities to the streets of Singapore where Red Bull has enjoyed success numerous times due to the downforce required by the car, Ricciardo is at a loss as to where Red Bull difficulties were.
“We have been very competitive at Singapore over the years, and that is a high braking and very hot circuit. So we expected to be good here today. We will have to understand why. The season has been unpredictable. When we expect to go quick sometimes, we are not, and when we don’t, we are. So as long as we understand today I think from a team’s point of view we did all we could. There isn’t anything we could have done better. But we have to understand why we didn’t have the pace.”
Image via Red Bull Content Pool