Daniel Ricciardo felt the Renault Formula 1 team missed out on a “big result” in the Monaco Grand Prix due to a strategy error.

The 2018 Monaco race-winner made a brilliant start to jump Kevin Magnussen into fifth place into Turn 1 and looked comfortable behind the top four runners until a poor strategy call turned his race on its head.

Ricciardo was called in to pit on Lap 11 under the Safety Car but his rivals stayed out to run long in the opening stint, meaning he rejoined in 13th place. Despite recovering to ninth, getting held up in traffic ultimately ruined his chances of a potential fifth-place finish.

“In the strategy briefing there was quite a bit of emphasis on me getting Kevin at Turn 1 and quite a bit of pressure in a way but that was our target,” Ricciardo said.

“Once we were fifth the top four were out of our reach. I got out of Turn 1 in fifth and I was smiling and the team gave me a bit of love after that.

“Then we got a late call on the Safety Car to box, and to be honest as soon as we came in, my gut feeling was that it wasn’t the right call, because the tyres were fine and we had the pace. Here it’s all about track position and giving up so much so early just felt wrong

“It’s so disappointing,” he added. “We missed a very big opportunity today to get a fifth, at the very worst a sixth. So yeah, sit down with the guys now and understand it, but yeah, certainly frustrated. We could have had a real big result.”

The Australian admitted it was frustrating not to be able to capitalise on his car’s strong performance on what had been looking to be an improved weekend for the French squad after a disappointed start to the season.

“That’s as well the frustration,” he explained. “I think we had a pretty good car in the race I had 50 something laps on the mediums and on the very last lap of the race I did my personal best.

“That just jumped me in front of Grosjean because I heard he had a penalty, so I had a few laps at the end to put everything into it and we had that pace to show. We were definitely better than ninth so we’ll figure it out and get better.”

 

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