An emotional Daniel Ricciardo says his car is “cursed” and doesn’t see the point in trying to race in the final two rounds of the season after retiring from the Mexican Grand Prix.
Ricciardo qualified on pole position but lost ground at the start, running fourth for a spell before climbing back into second place. Holding off Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo suffered a suspected clutch problem and had to retire, making it his eighth retirement of the season and sixth in the last 11 races. With Max Verstappen going on to win and Ricciardo still waiting for his first podium outside his two victories this season, the Australian was in a dejected mood after the race.
“It’s just, I don’t know, this car’s cursed,” Ricciardo said. “There’s no point coming on a Sunday. There’s two more races, I don’t honestly see the point of coming. So it’s, yeah, just… Yeah, want to go home.”
While Ricciardo’s quotes came immediately after the race finished, team principal Christian Horner says he hasn’t had a chance to speak to his driver but sympathizes with his emotions after a run of reliability issues.
“He wanted to get out of the circuit pretty quickly as you can imagine, so we’ll speak a bit later when things have calmed down,” Horner said.
“He’s just had an immensely frustrating afternoon. You can understand his emotions are running incredibly high. It’s gutting not just for him but for the whole team because we were looking at potentially a one-two finish which has enormous value to us.
“So it feels a bittersweet victory in that it is fantastic for Max to have driven an outstanding race — absolutely outstanding race — but I’m pretty confident that Daniel would have been able to hold off Sebastian over those remaining laps. You can understand his frustration and hope that this dark cloud that is following him around lifts for the final two races.”