Daniel Ricciardo says he felt “helpless” over the closing stages of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix anchored in fourth place as he failed to reach the podium on his final race for Red Bull.

With Ricciardo heading to Renault this winter, the Australia driver was eager for a final flourish for Red Bull at the Yas Marina Circuit but his strategy of a long first stint on the Ultrasoft tyres failed to see him leapfrog his teammate for the podium.

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Having led when all his front-running rivals pitted before him, Ricciardo returned to the track in fifth place with fresher Supersoft tyres but couldn’t find the pace to catch the podium trio – only passing Valtteri Bottas to take fourth.

“It wasn’t the most exciting race,” Ricciardo said. “It was fun, but it put me out of reach with the leaders, so I don’t know if we had much of a choice. I don’t know if we had many other options. We could have pitted earlier and kept track position. It’s always hard to know.

“Lewis pitted really early and probably didn’t think that would go to the end so strongly. So it was all right, just a bit helpless at the end. I couldn’t really do much. The pace advantage initially was strong. And then it fell away quite quickly. We probably just weren’t quick enough.

“I would have loved the podium, so I can’t be ecstatic with fourth. I was a but lonely the last few laps.

“We close this chapter now, so thanks to Red Bull and the whole Red Bull family. Would have loved to have drank out of my shoe, but we’ll see, still a few hours to go.”

Looking towards his winter preparations with Renault, Ricciardo isn’t expected to be in action for the post-season Abu Dhabi tyre test as he completes his Red Bull departure before getting to know his new team.

“In the next week I’ll close everything off with Red Bull, a few days at the factory,” he said. “Then the following week start to initially know a few people at Renault.

“Then go home to Australia and switch off for a bit. It’s been a long season. So looking forward to going home, talking to the sheep and cows on the farm and not doing a whole lot for the first few days. They get me.”

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