Daniel Ricciardo says he is focused on bouncing back at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix after 'clear the air' talks with his Red Bull team following the frustration of missing a likely win in Monaco.
The Australian was the class of the field in the Principality two weekends ago, claiming a dominant pole with the latest-spec Renault V6 in the back of his RB12, and pulling away at the start of the wet-dry race. However, two questionable pit-stops left him playing catch-up on Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton which, around Monaco's tight confines, only had one outcome.
Ricciardo admitted that, with the missed opportunity in Spain also still raw, he needed to take time away from Red Bull before seeking the team's explanation of what went wrong in Monaco.
“I was happy to keep some distance for a few days and, for myself as well, I think it probably wasn't healthy to address it straight away,” he noted, “For sure, for a few days, I was upset and obviously ruing some missed opportunities. It's one of those things, it happens, but it was unfortunate that it happened back-to-back and expanded the feelings and emotion a lot more.
“But I've moved on. I've obviously still got a lot of faith in the team, but it's important for me, this weekend, to execute a perfect weekend from my side and the team's side and get back on track. Obviously, we've shown we've got a good car, but it's just trying to maximise it. The last four weekends, I've left Sunday feeling like I should have got more so, this weekend, it's really trying to leave Sunday knowing that we maximised everything from both sides.”
The Australian confirmed that, after his cooling off period, he had spoken to both team principal Christian Horner and engineer Simon Rennie to ensure that there would be no repeat of the Monaco mix-up that saw the set of tyres to be fitted to his car sitting at the back of the cramped garage.
“Obviously, Christian apologised on everyone's behalf and just explained what went down, the reasons why there was confusion and why the tyres weren't ready,” Ricciardo, who also wanted answers about the first stop that dropped him behind Hamilton, confirmed, “It was important to hear the explanation but, more important, how to move on from it and make sure it doesn't happen again. They've done a lot of things since then back at the factory and set up some new parameters and things that will happen during pit-stops to make sure that these things don't happen again.
“I knew that they were going to take it seriously because it was obviously a big disappointment for all of us, but I've been assured that, if we're in that position again, then it won't happen to that is what I needed and wanted to hear.”
Ricciardo, who took his breakthrough F1 win in Canada a couple of years ago, acknowledged that the particular nature of the Monaco circuit and it's cramped pit-lane played a part in the debacle, but revealed that Red Bull has invested in new systems to ensure there is no repeat at any circuit.
“Whether a last-minute call at Barcelona would have allowed [preparation] to happen a bit more fluently, I'm not sure, but I think the call [to switch compounds based on what Hamilton took] was a bit rushed and I think, again, with Monaco being what it is, it was probably a bit chaotic for the circumstances,” he reasoned, “I think it probably all added up: the small garage, the intensity of the whole weekend and that track and what it does probably didn't help.
“There's going to be some new software that they've put in for strategy and some live stuff during the race that can make us more prepared and, if there are some late calls again, that everything is put in place. I had plenty of questions to ask, but they answered them with confidence and that's all I needed to hear.”