Daniel Ricciardo says there is no explanation for why he has suffered the majority of reliability issues at Red Bull through the 2018 Formula 1 season, putting it down to nothing but bad luck.

Ricciardo was on course to score his first podium since the end of May when he ran second late on in the Mexican Grand Prix two weeks ago, only to suffer a failure on his car that forced him to retire from the race.

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It marked Ricciardo’s eighth retirement of the year, five of which have come in the last nine races, and sparked an angry reaction from the Australian after the race.

Asked about his initial feeling when the issue emerged on his car, Ricciardo said it was “familiar” given the regularity of issues through 2018.

“This year it has happened too many times. The first thing you think is ‘not again!’” Ricciardo said.

“I was relatively calm for the most part. I was more animated in Austin. It was a bit more like head down feeling.”

While Ricciardo retired from the race, Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen took a dominant victory to move 70 points ahead in the drivers’ standings.

Verstappen has scored nine podiums this year compared to Ricciardo’s two, and has retired on just three occasions from races.

Ricciardo did not read much into the imbalance of technical issues on his car compared tor Verstappen, saying it was nothing but bad luck.
“I looked at the first six months of last year, Max seemed to have most if not all of it. Then the last six months, I seemed to have most or all of it,” Ricciardo said.

“So last year it was spread out in a way between us, and this year certainly it is been more me. Max had the failure in Budapest and maybe somewhere else. But it certainly has been a lot more top heavy for me this year.

“I don’t really have any explanation. It sounds really simple and silly, but bad luck really is the best term I can use. All the team still like me, so no-one has it in for me. It has just been the way it has worked this year.

“I’ll keep trying. I know Sunday afternoons, I am pretty pissed and animated, but honestly, I wake up Monday and am ready to go again. So it does not last too long.”

Ricciardo said after the race in Mexico he was “done” with the Red Bull RB14 car, and quipped that he would let 2019 Red Bull replacement Pierre Gasly drive it for the final two races of the year.

Ricciardo issued a short video in the days following the race clarifying that he would be at the last two races with Red Bull, and explained in Brazil on Thursday how it was nothing more than an emotional reaction.
“Even when I said it, I knew I was saying it in an emotional state. Deep down I don’t really mean it,” Ricciardo said.

“I didn’t read any media that week but I believe some people actually thought I might not come. So I thought it was good, probably more for the mechanics, to make sure they know what seat to put in the car, and just to let everyone know.

“I didn’t do anything after the race or anything like that. So just to let everyone know I was doing okay. I knew the team would appreciate it as well. But I also wanted to give it a bit of time. I did not think a great deal about it.

“When I did the video itself on social media, I was like ‘I will just check in and say hi from a beautiful mountain spot.’”