Sport Motorsport Ricciardo keen to end ‘cursed’ F1 season

Ricciardo keen to end ‘cursed’ F1 season

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo before his car broke down. Photo: Getty
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A dejected Daniel Ricciardo feels there’s almost no point finishing out the Formula One season after his “cursed” Red Bull car dealt him an eighth race retirement this season.

The Australian driver, who will cross to Renault for next year, was sitting second after starting from poll when a hydraulics issue forced him to park on lap 61 of the Mexican Grand Prix.

It was his fourth DNF in seven races and eighth across a 2018 season marred by mechanical problems.

Ahead of final stops in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, Ricciardo said the end of his miserable season couldn’t come soon enough.

“I don’t think ‘frustration’ is the word anymore. Everything feels hopeless,” Ricciardo told reporters after teammate Max Verstappen’s victory.

“I don’t see the point of coming on Sunday. I don’t see the point of doing the next two races.

I haven’t had a clean race or weekend in so long. I’m not superstitious or any of that … but the car’s cursed. I don’t have any more words.”

Ricciardo, who will be replaced by French Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly for 2019, has two wins and a pair of podiums this year but is well off the pace in the driver’s standings.

He was finally given something to smile about on Saturday after pipping Verstappen for pole but dropped back to third on the first corner after a poor start before his charge back up the order was halted with 10 laps remaining.

The 29-year-old lamented the team’s inability to get it right on race day.

“The starts have been good all weekend, the practice starts, and for the race start, it’s all over the place with the pre-start,” Ricciardo said.

“Things are happening on Sunday which I’ve got no more explanation for.

“The car … I’ll let Gasly drive it, I’m done with it.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said a mistake at start-line was key to Verstappen taking the ascendancy.

“Daniel picked up a bit too much wheelspin and that was the difference,” the team principal said.