Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he is struggling to move on from the Spanish Grand Prix after being denied an almost certain victory due to a poor choice of strategy by the Red Bull Racing team.
Ricciardo was the big beneficiary of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg clashing on the opening lap of the Circuit de Catalunya event, assuming a lead ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen he would hold for three-quarters of the race.
However, when Sebastian Vettel was pitted for a third time in Ferrari's attempts to instigate a late race charge on fresher rubber, Red Bull opted to follow suit with Ricciardo, an erroneous move that would see the Australian end up in fourth at the chequered flag, with Verstappen taking a sensational win.
Despite the ultimately positive result for both Red Bull and F1 as a whole, Ricciardo admits he cannot shake the golden opportunity to secure his first win since 2014 from his mind.
“I think the outcome of the race was frustrating,” he said in a Red Bull Monaco Grand Prix preview video. “Is it easy to move on? I wouldn't say easy. Can you move on? Absolutely.
“It has been a few days since the race and I still wake up with it on my mind. I am going to bed with it off my mind but waking up it with it on my mind. It will take a bit of time. I think it is more probably, as well, in the last three races the end result hasn't been what we deserved. I think there has been always been something to have and be available to me. Now it is like, 'come on', At the same time, it is racing and that is part of it.”
Indeed, while Ricciardo spared praise for Verstappen, whose win made him the youngest person to triumph in an F1 race, he admits he cannot feel more than mixed emotions as a whole.
“It is a tough one,” he continued. “Part of me is happy that the team is winning again and I think part of me is happy that everyone's super motivated and confidence is high. So that is a positive and that I am trying to draw myself to.
“From a personal side, it is massively frustrating. It is a tough one. Sure it is a team sport, but you are doing it for yourself as well and it is as individual as it is team. That balance is a tricky one to try to manage. From a personal side, it is still hard one to take.”