Daniel Ricciardo had the perfect start to the Styrian GP as he jumped from 13th to 8th on the first lap. However, mechanical issues on lap 7 prevented him from maximizing his strategy for the race.

Ricciardo started the race on the Mediums. So, a good opening lap followed by maintaining track position could have delivered him a result in the top 7. Ricciardo was executing his strategy to perfection up until lap 7, where his MCL35M crept up some mechanical issues, forcing him to lose the five positions he gained in the first lap of the race.

“It was disheartening because I had such a great start, and I was on a preferred strategy with the mediums. It felt like the cars ahead would have struggled on the softs and we were in a really good position – 13th to 8th – so it was all there ahead of us. Then I lost power,” Ricciardo said.

“I felt it out of Turn 1, and then I got some switches and we were able to recover it by Turn 7 or Turn 8. But everyone I passed on Lap 1 I waved back past me. Then you’re in the train and that’s it, afternoon done.”

After this, the Australian felt like a sitting duck as those ahead of him were on the C5 compound.

“It was fine after that, so in a way that is kind of what sucks even more. When you drop back that much sometimes you are like ‘let’s end the pain’. We still had a long race to go, but once you’re in the train everyone has DRS, and clear air is so important around here. It was so static that I think everyone’s pace was quite similar in dirty air. So there was really nothing to do after that. The race changed like a switch.”

Ricciardo’s disappointment was justified as he explained that they were ahead of Carlos Sainz, who was on the same strategy, and he finished sixth.

“I think that was us. We could’ve been fifth and sixth again as a team. When it is low it is really low, the sport. This was one of those days that I really did not love it.”

I’m an Indian who aspires to be a motorsports journalist. My involved interest in motorsports, especially in the Formula series, is driven by the stakes and need for perfection required on and off track.