Daniel Ricciardo admits his Russian Grand Prix hopes were wrecked by damage caused by a first-lap incident which eventually forced his Renault car to retire early on Sunday.
The Australian, who had qualified in 10th place for the race in Sochi, was involved in a three-car clash with Haas driver Romain Grosjean and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi at turn four which left him with a rear-left puncture and aerodynamic and balance problems which greatly hindered his efforts.
He was eventually retired from the race by his team on lap 25 having been unable to make inroads from the back of the field.
“Unfortunately, our race was pretty much over from the start,” Ricciardo told his team’s website.
“I had too much damage on the car to carry on, which is a shame.
“I got hit and had a puncture and damage to the floor. I’ll look at it with the perspective that if I qualify higher up the grid then I’m less likely to be in the bad stuff.
“I’ll take responsibility for that, but in terms of the accident, I was just a passenger.”
World champion Lewis Hamilton won the race ahead of teammate and closest rival Valtteri Bottas in a surprise Mercedes one-two.
Ricciardo’s teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, crossed the line in tenth place position, at least salvaging a point for Renault.