Ricciardo frustrated by strategic blunder


Daniel Ricciardo lamented the strategic decision that led to him giving up the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix and Max Verstappen claiming a remarkable victory in Barcelona.

On his maiden drive for Red Bull following a much-publicised promotion from the sister Toro Rosso team, the 18-year-old Verstappen held off the challenge of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to become the youngest winner of a Formula One race.

Verstappen's stunning achievement - which came after Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had collided and retired on the opening lap - was understandably the talk of the paddock post-race.

Yet there was a sense of frustration for Ricciardo, who had led for 28 laps before being put on a three-stop strategy that ultimately backfired.

The Australian slipped down to fourth and his hopes of making the podium were ended by a puncture with two laps remaining, although he still had time to pit for fresh tyres without losing further places.

Ricciardo was quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "It is mixed emotions at the moment. We were leading then we got pulled to a three-stop strategy when in the lead and we then had to pass three cars. That was not the [original] plan.

"In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do and maybe during the race it seemed a good thing to do.

"To not be on the podium sucks. The puncture at the end was salt in the wounds. Seb [Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel] and I were fighting hard, but there was no contact.

"I don't want to come across as a bad sportsman. Whatever happened on track, Max crossed the line first.

"Sure, it is every man for himself and I'm bitter, but not at Max. He did what he had to do, but I'm bitter at the situation."