Ricciardo felt «rapid» before Stroll F1 clash in China

Under a mid-race safety car, Aston Martin driver Stroll clattered into the back of Ricciardo at the hairpin, which forced the Australian to retire with car damage.

Ricciardo was furious with Stroll’s refusal to take blame for the incident, while the Canadian labelled his penalty a «joke».

But amid a tough a thus far point-less start to the 2024 season, which has dented Ricciardo’s hopes of landing the coveted second Red Bull seat in 2025, China was a much-improved weekend for him until the Stroll clash.

Ricciardo qualified ahead of team-mate Yuki Tsunoda for both the sprint and the grand prix, and was in the hunt for points in both races.

Describing his «yo-yo race», Ricciardo said. «Everyone pitted early, so we went longer.

«As soon as we put on the second medium, we were very good. I know we were only out there for five or six laps, but it felt rapid.

«The tyres still being pretty good, we chose to stay out for track position.

«Then we were going to fit a soft at the end. We would have been in a very good place.

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

«Obviously, immediate disappointment and frustration, but in 48 hours time we look back and reflect on the weekend. It’s definitely a good weekend.

«As a team, we feel like we took a blow to the stomach now. But probably deeper than that, we have some positives.»

Ricciardo had asked RB for a chassis change ahead of the Shanghai event. While there is no word of whether there was any actual issue with his old tub, or whether it is a placebo effect, the 34-year-old said at least «something» changed to make him feel more at ease.

«From the get-go it just felt like we’re in a better place and everything came a bit more seamlessly,» he explained.

«We did change chassis. I don’t want to jump on that and be like: «It’s definitely that’.

«But something didn’t make me feel right with the previous chassis I was racing.

«I would love to kind of be here in five races’ time and say that, because then it means the season has definitely turned around and I get that monkey off our back.

«We’ll see in Miami, and Imola and maybe the next few [races] if it continues.»

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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