Ricciardo was ‘sitting pretty’ before Styrian GP engine glitch

Daniel Ricciardo reckons he was on his way to a fifth or sixth place finish in Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix when a power unit glitch left him stranded outside of the top ten.

The McLaren driver who had enjoyed a promising start to his race weekend on Friday had inexplicably fallen down the order in qualifying, leaving him a lowly P13 on Sunday’s grid.

But a barnstorming opening lap saw the Aussie overtake several rivals and move up to ninth. However, Ricciardo’s hopes of dicing in the upper tier of F1’s midfield was dashed after just six laps.

“We were sitting pretty and then all of a sudden we lost power,” Ricciardo explained.

“So all of that position that we gained, I basically just waved them on through. We were able to fix it on track but then it was too late and I was back in the mess I did well to get out of.

“It is painful to see all the work undone when you are trying to fix it and everyone is just going past you.

“It is obviously heartbreaking for me and disheartening but I am not the only one who feels this pain and the race, from lap one after a bad one yesterday, it started to look really promising.”


Given Lando Norris’ excellent run to P5, Ricciardo felt that he could have battled among the top six with his McLaren teammate.

“I think we could have been fifth and sixth today like we were a week ago [in France] so it could be a lot different but it is not,” he said. “Luckily we get to go again in a week.”

Ricciardo was at a loss to understand the sudden power unit bug, and while everything eventually returned to normal, he couldn’t extricate himself from the train of cars running in dirty air.

    Read also: Norris insists P5 ‘best we could achieve’ after lonely race

“[It was] out of the blue,” he said. “So for now I don’t know what it was. I’m not the only one hurting. I’m sure that they feel the pain as well.

“The weekend went from bad to worse, and it is just one of those ones.

“It was fine after that, so in a way that is kind of what sucks even more. When you drop back that much sometimes you are like let’s end the pain.

“We still had a long race to go, but once you’re in the train everyone has DRS, and clear air is so important around here.

“It was so static that I think everyone’s pace was quite similar and dirty air. So there was really nothing to do after that. The race changed like a switch.

“I am looking forward to getting out of here and coming back next week with a fresh approach.”

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