Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen must both be feeling somewhat disappointed in the wake of the third practice session at the Brazil Grand Prix.
The Red Bull duo slipped to P5 and P6 respectively despite initially outpacing Ferrari and Mercedes at Interlagos.
Verstappen clocked the fastest time during Thursday’s practice, but couldn’t back it up and found himself some 0.785 seconds adrift of the pacesetter Sebastian Vettel on Friday.
Ricciardo was only 0.055 seconds slower than his teammate, though he has the additional worry of a five-place grid penalty after being forced to replace his turbocharger.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the action was a necessary consequence of the hydraulic problem that forced the Australian to retire in Mexico.
Referencing the stewards’ use of fire extinguishers at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, he told Sky : “You can’t really blame them, the car was obviously smoking.
“But they shot foam up the exhaust and as it solidifies in the turbo, it’s terminated it.
“He’ll take a five-place penalty but hopefully on a track like this it’s not actually that big a penalty.”
RICCIARDO'S RETIREMENT WOES
Ricciardo has failed to pass the chequered flag at eight races in 2018 - twice as many as Verstappen.
Speaking in the heat of the moment after bowing out in Mexico City, the 29-year-old said he saw no point in contesting the final two events of the season.
Having since had time to reflect on his comments, Ricciardo has changed his tune.
“I was angry and upset. At the time I felt like I meant it but deep down I didn’t,” he told Sky.
“It was a good way to express how I felt.
“Fortunately, I tend to wake up Monday morning and it’s like a new day and I can forget pretty quickly the Sunday.”
While Ricciardo and Verstappen are powerless to help Red Bull finish higher than third in the constructors’ championship this year, they also can’t drop any lower.
With that in mind, neither man is under any real pressure to work miracles in Sao Paulo or Abu Dhabi later this month.
And based on what the pair have been up to between sessions this weekend, they’re taking full advantage of the opportunity to let their hair down.
RICCIARDO GUIDING A BLINDFOLDED VERSTAPPEN
Footage has emerged of Ricciardo guiding a blindfolded Verstappen around a virtual version of the Brazil GP circuit.
Despite their driving prowess in real life, their attempt at the unorthodox challenge went about as well as one might expect…
Let’s hope the Red Bull colleagues can work together more successfully come race day.