Daniel Ricciardo’s run of 34 consecutive grand prix finishes – the longest active streak in Formula 1 – is over after the Australian retired from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
What shaped as a promising race for the 32-year-old ended in disappointment, after a problem with his McLaren’s Mercedes engine.
After starting 11th on the grid, Ricciardo had worked his way up to 8th spot by lap 50 when he lost power, forcing him to retire for the first time since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix in 2020.
After a disappointing sprint qualifying on Saturday, the Australian had reversed the trend with a strong performance during the race.
With the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc committed to stopping twice, and the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly also within reach, a top-five wasn’t out of the question.
“It was definitely better than yesterday, I say better than yesterday but I think it was actually going well,” Ricciardo said.
“We were in the fight, or at least hanging on to the Ferraris [who] we knew had to two-stop, because they went medium medium [tyre compunds], so we were potentially going to try to do a one [stop], or we had the ability to being on the hard.
“And Gasly was there in our window as well so I think it could have got interesting, but anyway we were doing what we could, and we just had a loss of power at the end so we had to retire the car.”
It was a frustrating day for McLaren, with Lando Norris suffering a puncture after an altercation with Sainz on the run to the first turn. That dropped the 22-year-old to the rear of the field, and he was only able to recover to 10th place by the finish.
With both Ferrari’s scoring good points courtesy of Leclerc (5th) and Sainz (6th), it means Ferrari now leads McLaren by 31.5 points in the battle for third place in the Constructors’ Championship, with just three races to go.
“[We] had some battles, I think it was a much more interesting race than yesterday and we were at least in the mix, in the fight,” Ricciardo added.
“I think we still lacked maybe a couple of tenths, but I think we were there, so come back in Qatar.
“I heard it is my first retirement all season, so these things happen.”
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