Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Daniel Ricciardo admitted that it was a “disappointment” not to end his final race with Red Bull Racing with a podium finish.
Starting in fifth, the Australian inherited fourth place in the opening stages of the race when Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen retired.
He was put onto an alternate strategy in the race, where he stayed out for longer than the other front-runners in a bid to have fresher tyres for an aggressive final stint.
Emerging in fifth after his pit stop, he managed to pass Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas – who was struggling with his tyres – for fourth place, but could not catch up to team-mate Max Verstappen for the final podium place.
“I would have loved to sign-off this chapter with a podium, so I can’t be ecstatic with fourth and there is a little disappointment there.
“I led for a while which was fun but staying out put me out of touch with the leaders. I don’t think we had much of a choice, maybe we could have pitted early and kept track position but nobody thought the supersofts would hold on like they did.
“The pace advantage after I pitted was strong but it fell away quite quickly and I couldn’t make a big enough impact on Max or the leaders.”
He extended his thanks to the Red Bull team after completing his 100th-and-final race for the team.
“My thoughts are still on the race but once I cool off I will reflect on the last five years with the Team. I would have loved a championship with them but Red Bull brought me my first pole, victory and podium. Everything I have done in F1 is down the them and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
“The moment before the race with everyone in the garage showing their love and appreciation was really cool and that’s certainly something I will never forget. I thank the Team for the last five years and Red Bull for the last 10. I would have loved to drink out of my shoe and celebrate with the Team one last time, but now I close this chapter with thanks and love for everyone in the Red Bull family.”