Sport Motorsport F1: Ricciardo’s frustrations grow as Renault engine fails again

F1: Ricciardo’s frustrations grow as Renault engine fails again

Daniel Ricciardo leaves his stricken Red Bull on the side of the track at Austin. Photo: AAP
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A frustrated Daniel Ricciardo put his fist through a wall at the United States Grand Prix on Monday morning after yet another retirement in a Formula One year of engine failures from his Renault-powered Red Bull.

Ricciardo has not finished in five of 10 races this year and his retirement in Austin, Texas was his third since announcing a move from Red Bull to Renault in 2019.

Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen finished second, while the race was won in spectacular fashion by Ferrari veteran Kimi Raikkonen.

Ricciardo was running fourth when his engine shut down and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told that the Australian was livid.

“It’s a crying shame for Daniel, I feel so sorry for him,” Horner said.

“It looks identical to the power unit issue he had in Bahrain where it’s just gone into complete shutdown – you could see it mid-corner.

“He was driving a strong grand prix and would have been right there too. It’s so frustrating for him. He’s taken out his frustration in his room by putting his fist through the wall, which you can totally relate to.”

And Horner had a subtle dig at Renault’s woes.

“I’m sure he’ll be having a word with his future employers about it – it’s so frustrating to keep losing him from races at the moment,” he said

“He doesn’t blame the team in any way, he knows we are doing everything we can, it’s just one of those things.”

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was third, extending the race for the F1 title at least another week fight to Mexico next week.

The Mercedes driver’s main rival, Sebastian Vettel, had another forgettable race, spinning in an incident with Ricciardo just before lap two before ultimately finishing fourth.

Raikkonen enjoyed his first F1 win since the Australian Grand Prix in 2013 and his first since returning to Ferrari from Lotus four years ago.

Hamilton now leads Vettel by 70 points with a maximum 75 to win from the last three races of the season.

“A big congratulations to Kimi, he did a great job with no mistakes. He had a great start and managed to go all the way,” Hamilton said.

Texas was meant to be the stage for Hamilton to triumph on a race he has dominated in the past – winning the last four – but Raikkonen stole his thunder.

“Maybe they (the fans) are happier, it’s been a great weekend, the car has been good all the time,” Raikkonen said.

Hamilton started from pole but the race began well for Ferrari with Raikkonen on ultra-soft tyres getting past the Briton at the start.

Hamilton took the lead when Raikkonen pitted for new tyres on lap 21.

With blistering tyres, Hamilton was in the pits again on lap 37, but probably a shade too late, to emerge fourth, teammate Bottas then soon making way for him.

The race and the title was fully in the balance as it went into a tense last 10 laps, with Raikkonen, Verstappen and Hamilton close together, and Vettel moving up on Bottas.

The top three remained unchanged but Vettel was successful in overtaking Bottas.

Raikkonen winning his 21st grand prix victory, ending a winless run of 113 races.

The remaining top 10 places were taken by Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Carlos Sainz (Renault), Esteban Ocon (Force India), Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Sergio Perez (Force India).