The McLaren driver had a dramatic start to his race when he could not engage first gear after lining up on the grid as the field prepared for the start light sequence to begin. 

Ricciardo was seen waving to signal what he initially thought was a gearbox failure, though it was actually a problem relating to the clutch paddle. 

After reporting over team radio that “I can’t get first gear, it went into anti-stall”, Ricciardo was instructed by race engineer Tom Stallard to use the paddle on the opposite side on his steering wheel and complete a “left-hand launch”. 

Explaining the incident after the race, the Australian admitted he went through “some stressful moments”. 

“We have two clutch paddles, you have your preferred one and if you are right-handed you would probably choose the right-hand one for the start,” Ricciardo said. “That one chose not to work.

“I was on the grid stressing because it was not engaging, so I thought I had a gearbox problem. I was waving my hands and thinking I would have to get pulled off the grid.

“I tried the left one and it worked, so I’m trying to figure out how to do a start with my left hand. So I was prepared for a pretty poor start.” 

Asked if he has ever practiced a wrong-handed clutch start before, Ricciardo responded: “I should. In Monaco, you are forced to do it exiting the pits because you are turning the other way and it is easier with your left hand to turn the wheel.

“I will practice it a few more times.”

While Ricciardo immediately lost a position to George Russell when the lights went out, he was able to re-pass the Williams driver before sneaking by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi at Turn 7. 

“As expected, Russell got me straight away but actually I managed to get him back, and then Giovinazzi as well in Turn 7,” he said. 

“I gained a position on lap one when I thought I was going to lose many, so that was fun.”

Ricciardo eventually slipped out of the points to 11th after being overtaken by Sergio Perez’s recovering Red Bull and his McLaren teammate Lando Norris

“With Perez, I tried to hold on but he was quick,” Ricciardo added. “In hindsight, I could’ve probably run him off the track, but it was a matter of time until he got around.

“We tried a strategy to help the team and Lando but I don’t think it worked. We will try and analyse that now and see what we could’ve done better.”