Ricciardo: '18 dramas cost me sleep, left crew "heartbroken"

Daniel Ricciardo says he was losing sleep in the second half of the 2018 Formula 1 season, as misfortune dogged his final races as a Red Bull driver.

Ricciardo: '18 dramas cost me sleep, left crew "heartbroken"

The Aussie, who moves to Renault next year, was as high as third in the standings after his second win in Monaco, but wound up a distant sixth in the end.

In the run-in, he was affected by a disproportionate amount of reliability dramas, which contributed to him recording more retirements than any other F1 driver in 2018 and often impacted his starting position by triggering grid penalties.

Ricciardo, who grew increasingly frustrated as the issues piled up, admits the mental strain may have impacted his form in addition to simply costing him results.

“For sure a lot went on this year and I’d be naive to think it didn’t affect me at some points,” Ricciardo said.

“It’s not like I can pinpoint a race and be like 'that race went badly because I had too much on my mind'.

“I think it’s draining and when your mind is ticking over, sometimes rather than sleeping eight hours you’re sleeping six hours and then the accumulation of that might slow down your reaction or your reflexes.

“I definitely don’t want to make it sound like an excuse but I’m sure there has been an effect to some degree.

“But it’s also part of the growing experience and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’m in this position where I have a lot of mechanicals [DNFs] or I have another contract to figure out and sign.

“I’ll just try and learn from it and do some reflecting and try and figure out what I could have done better.”

After his RB14 failed in back-to-back races in the USA and Mexico – the latter won by his teammate Max Verstappen – a fed up Ricciardo said he was looking forward to giving up his seat.

Reflecting on that time in a post-season Red Bull podcast, the Aussie said his crew likewise found the dramas difficult to cope with.

“I’m in the spotlight and I’m in the car but everyone working, especially, the guys in the garage, they are as heartbroken as me - and they worked as many hours, if not more than me, over the course of the race weekend.

“Sometimes I’ve wanted to get out and go and hide. But fortunately most times I do still know where my heart is and think about them.

“Mexico was tough, that was two on the bounce and pretty brutal. It kind of felt like we were all in the same position and all needed to hug each other.

“It wasn’t like ‘screw you, you didn’t do this for me!’ We were all hurting and it was none of our fault. There were a few grown men tearing up, just heartbroken.”

Additional reporting by Edd Straw

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Why Schumacher was the best I ever worked with – Pat Symonds

Previous article

Why Schumacher was the best I ever worked with – Pat Symonds

Next article

McLaren enters professional cycling

McLaren enters professional cycling
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021