Daniel Ricciardo says he regrets not taking a gamble during the safety car period in the Mexican Grand Prix and switching to the prime tyre for the final stint but felt on reflection Red Bull achieved near to its maximum.
The Australian driver steered clear of the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa for the opening half of the race but was powerless to see the Finnish driver get past him while Massa was right on his rear during the safety car period.
Ricciardo says he believes he had more pace to produce on the prime tyres but was unable to demonstrate it and once he pitted for the options to get him to the chequered flag he realised the chance of a podium had gone.
“Both of us had a sniff at a podium today,” Ricciardo said. “Daniil [Kvyat] was looking pretty good. I thought on the prime, in the middle stint, I had more pace in me but we were in a bit of no-man's land with the Williams and couldn't pass them until they suffered really bad tyre degradation. I thought we had a bit more pace to show on the prime but we couldn't show it.
“At the restart I thought that was an opportunity but I feel both of us going on to the option was maybe the wrong thing to do, in hindsight. Personally I was comfier on the prime I think and Dani had put the option on, so just to try something I should have tried something.
“We'll see what the team says, analysing everything and seeing if we could have done anything different, but I think I would have been happier on the prime.”
Ricciardo also says there was little he could do to prevent his first corner collision with Sebastian Vettel who suffered a right rear tyre puncture and believes it was a racing incident.
“I was just there and wasn't necessarily making a move or anything, but at the start you're all sort of bunched up,” he explained. “I was just there on the inside, I didn't feel like I could go anywhere else and he just basically took the apex as if I wasn't there. I don't really know what else I could have done.”