Formula 1

Ricciardo was running third before being passed by Kimi Raikkonen .

The very unusual car failure that cost Daniel Ricciardo a podium at the French GP

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Daniel Ricciardo can consider himself very unlucky after a freak problem with his front wing cost him a podium at the French GP.

The Australian was running strongly in third for much of Sunday's race at Paul Ricard, often closing the gap on his teammate Max Verstappen in second.

After his one and only pit-stop to change tyres though, his pace was notably slower falling back from his Dutch teammate pretty rapidly.

Having pulled out a comfortable margin over Kimi Raikkonen in fourth, the Finn would use his fresher, faster tyres to also haul in the Red Bull driver, passing him for third at the Mistral chicane.

"When I pitted, the boys said the front left part of the wing was damaged,” Ricciardo revealed after the race.

“They think it happened about two laps before the pit stop because I started, all of a sudden, to get quite a lot of understeer.

“I don’t know if it was a failure or we hit some debris but that broke, so then already with the Soft tyre, we were struggling when we left the pits and then I think a few laps later the team said the right part broke, so both parts identically seemed to break."

AUTO-PRIX-F1-FRA-RACE

Photo evidence later confirmed that whereas most front wing damage tends to be to an endplate or a small winglet, it was, in fact, two of the main elements at the top of the wing which had come off.

With this happening on both sides of the wing, it appears more likely to be a failure of the design itself rather than debris.

The result would have been a substantial loss of front downforce, which is why Ricciardo suffered from understeer, meaning it was requiring more steering angle or less speed for the car to turn into the corners.

It also meant when Raikkonen did catch him up, he had no means to try and keep the Ferrari at bay.

"With Kimi, he was always going to catch us with that pace,” the two-time winner in 2018 said. “But as I said, we were a wounded car from just before the first pit stop.”

In many ways, it capped off a frustrating weekend for Ricciardo, who was also unhappy after qualifying believing he had chosen the wrong set-up.

He will certainly be looking for a good result this weekend though, as Red Bull hold their home race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this Sunday.

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Topics:
Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Kimi Raikkonen
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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