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Daniel Ricciardo says with the advantage of hindsight he's frustrated Red Bull didn't try to switch him to a one-stop strategy like his team-mate Max Verstappen as he slid down to fifth place in Abu Dhabi.
The Australia driver had been hoping to be in amongst the battle for the win having started third on the grid but after losing a place to Kimi Raikkonen at turn one and getting stuck behind the Finn until the first round of pit stops he lost touch with the front two.
Having seen Verstappen recover from his first lap spin and push his super-softs over twice as long as Ricciardo to enable him to switch to a one-stop, the Australian driver feels the one-stopper may have been the better option to get into the front runners but concedes knowing that after the race isn't helpful.
“I don't want to be too down as I'm still fifth,” Ricciardo said. “I'm just frustrated in how the strategy played out in the end. We had the supersofts at the start and it was still going pretty well and we tried to make a move on Kimi. It was close but we didn't pull it off and that really hurt me.
“I think we should have just gone long and one-stopped but in hindsight it's always easy to say.
“I saw Max spin in mirrors in turn 1, so I thought he was out of the race and then he does a one-stop and fights for the podium so he did well. I just feel we hurt with the two-stop strategy as the supersoft was a good tyre today.”
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Ricciardo also paid credit to Nico Rosberg for holding his nerve to take second place in the Abu Dhabi title decider and clinch a maiden F1 crown and enjoyed watching the two Mercedes drivers take on one another for the 2016 world title.
“Hats off to Nico. It must be an amazing feeling to be world champion,” he said. “They both pushed each other until the end and it's nice to see the title go down to the line like that.
“I got amongst it when I could so I think it was a good 2016 for sure. I'm not going to get too caught up with thinking about next year, but if we woke up in February for testing and the car's quick then you'll see me fighting for it [the title].”
Ricciardo ends the season third in the F1 drivers' championship with one race win to his name in Malaysia supported by seven additional rostrum results plus the sole non-Mercedes pole position of the year coming in Monaco.
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