Christian Horner, team principal for Red Bull has laid blame on Renault for Daniel Ricciardo’s current frustrated figure as reliability issues hit him again last weekend and forced another early retirement.
Ricciardo has not made the podium in the past twelve races, and at the American grand prix he had to retire for the seventh time this season after losing power going around a corner.
The Aussie couldn’t contain his anger afterwards as his Red Bull boss confirmed he actually punched a hole in the wall.
“You can’t blame him, the frustration that is in him,” Horner said after the race in Austin.
“What’s ironic is it’s always on his car. It was the other way round last year with Max but as Renault’s premier driver I think you wouldn’t expect these issues to be happening.”
Ricciardo announced that he would be leaving Red Bull for a move to Renault back at the start of August, a move that surprised most.
Coincidentally, since news of the switch broke, the Australian has struggled for reliability from his Renault provided engine, while Verstappen has seemingly gone from strength-to-strength.
“From a team point of view, all we want to do is finish the year on a high with him and have a chance to celebrate the time that he has been with us,” Horner added.
“It’s just unfortunate that these things keep happening.”
Ricciardo meanwhile has targeted a strong finish to his time with Red Bull, however with the season reaching it’s final three races, he knows his chances are fading.
“A lot of times this year there have been things out of my control but I can only keep trying,” Ricciardo said.
“The biggest shame is that I only have a handful of races left with Red Bull and I want to have more highs than we’ve had.
“I want to be able to celebrate with the team at least one more time and be on the podium to enjoy that feeling, but we’re running out of races which is pretty tough to take at the moment.”
Interestingly, despite everything seemingly being alright on the surface, Red Bull have refused Ricciardo the opportunity to drive for Renault in the post-season testing.
It seems the Australian will cut a frustrated figure for a while to come yet, but this current feeling will surely spur him on to prove any doubters wrong when he arrives at the French manufacturers for the 2019 season.