After a disappointing qualifying which left him 14th on the grid in Qatar, Ricciardo hoped to bounce back on race day.

Ricciardo failed to make any progress on the opening lap after going three-wide into the first corner with Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll.

The Australian’s race was thwarted by the amount of fuel-saving he had to do, costing him around two seconds per lap.

Explaining the issue, Ricciardo said: “After the start we had fuel saving from super early in the race. I started doing what I thought was already a lot, and it was not enough. 

“So Tom [Stallard, his engineer] said you need to do more. It is not enough. To a point where at times we were losing two seconds a lap by fuel saving. And without the brakes get cold, the tires get cold, and you lose grip. It is a downward spiral. 

“So we were fuel saving for a good half of the race, and that took us way out. And then Tom said no more fuel saving. Maximum push. I’m only saying Tom because he is the one that feeds me the information, but it is clearly a system error today. It is a shame because when I could push the referenced time I was able to get… But we were at the mercy of error today with the reading.”

Ricciardo believes it cost him a chance of scoring points in Qatar.

“It is the most I’ve had to save and the earliest in the race that I ever had to save,” he added. “I think you guys could’ve driven a similar pace when I was fuel saving. I was coasting into every corner. 

“And it was never enough. I don’t know what happened to the system or if they got another reading, and then Tom said no more just push.

“I’m going to look at the bright side and say I’m glad it did not happen in a podium position because that would have been the most painful thing ever. But it definitely took us out of a chance at the points.”

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl didn’t have an explanation as to what caused the fuel issue as the team continues to investigate the issue.

“On Daniel’s side, a good start to the race, unfortunately, he had a lot of fuel-saving, unexpectedly which compromised his race quite a lot and any chance to get back into the points,” Seidl explained.

“It’s something that we need to analyse why this happened.”