Aus­tralian felt “screwed” for sec­ond race run­ning af­ter pit shambles

Motor Sport News - - Front Page - By Rob Lad­brook

Daniel Ric­cia­rdo has blasted the Red Bull Rac­ing team af­ter a pit stop blun­der cost him a shot at vic­tory in last week­end’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Ric­cia­rdo was an­gered when the team called him in for his sec­ond pit stop of the race as it looked to change to su­per soft tyres for the fi­nal stint, only for the me­chan­ics to have no rub­ber ready. Ric­cia­rdo lost time while his team scram­bled to fetch new tyres from the garage in a flah­s­point that lost him the race lead to even­tual win­ner Lewis Hamil­ton.

The blun­der marks the sec­ond ques­tion­able Red Bull de­ci­sion in as many races con­cern­ing Ric­cia­rdo.

The Aus­tralian said he felt the team cost him a shot at vic­tory in the pre­ced­ing Span­ish GP when it moved him to a three-stop strat­egy, al­low­ing his two-stop­ping team-mate Max Ver­stap­pen to win in Barcelona.

Ric­cia­rdo blasted his en­gi­neers over the ra­dio af­ter the race, re­fus­ing to hear or ac­cept the team’s apolo­gies.

He said: “To ex­plain how I feel with­out swear­ing is dif­fi­cult. I feel like I’ve been run over by an 18-wheeled truck for the sec­ond race in a row. I felt I han­dled it [the bad de­ci­sion] in Barcelona pretty well, but to try and stand here af­ter that and still be pos­i­tive – I can’t do it this time.

“I’m a pos­i­tive guy and I hate be­ing like this. Be­ing on the podium in Monaco should be awe­some, but this hurts. I was quick in the race and pulled away and I just have no idea what hap­pened with the strat­egy call. The team called me in, it’s not even like I made a snap late de­ci­sion [to pit]. I just know they should have been ready and that it’s not good enough.

“Af­ter the race I just told them to save their breath as there’s noth­ing they could say to make this any bet­ter. I just want to get the hell out of here [Monaco] to be hon­est. That’s two races in a row now that I’ve been screwed.

“A big part of rac­ing is re­ly­ing on the team and their strat­egy calls, so to get it wrong twice hurts. I’m not sure where to go from here. They’ve got to un­der­stand what’s go­ing on and learn from it be­cause this is a win I’ll never get back. That’s a fact.”

Red Bull team head Chris­tian Horner apol­o­gised to Ric­cia­rdo, and said the un­usual pit lay­out at Monaco – where team perches are placed above the garage, not trackside – may have contributed to the er­ror.

“Ba­si­cally there was a mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the tyres,” he said. “The pit­wall is up­stairs, ob­vi­ously the garage is down­stairs, tyres are on heat both in the garage and be­hind it. Un­for­tu­nately the set of slicks that were called for weren’t read­ily to hand and were at the back of the garage and there was a scram­ble.

“Not mak­ing ex­cuses, as there aren’t any. But it’s a com­mu­ni­ca­tion er­ror that hap­pened with 30 sec­onds no­tice that on a nor­mal work­ing day [with­out tight garages] wouldn’t have hap­pened. The race en­gi­neers don’t have sight of which tyres are in the garage from up­stairs.

“All we can do is apol­o­gise to Daniel that we haven’t given him good enough ser­vice to­day.”

Ric­cia­rdo starred in tricky event Ric­cia­rdo (left) made his feel­ing known

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