Sad confession in Ricciardo tell-all
Daniel Ricciardo has shared further insight on the workings of his mind during his nightmare 2018 season, his final under Red Bull alongside Dutch youngster Max Verstappen.
Plagued with a litany of engine issues which forced him to retire from eight out of 20 races, Ricciardo jumped ship from the Austrian-based unit to Renault.
While the move at first appeared to be a massive jump backwards for the Aussie, who many believed would be in title contention once he joined the Bulls in 2014, new developments at the former heavyweight team - alongside a regulations overhaul for the 2019 season - point to promising horizons at Renault.
Now, less than two months away from lights-out in Melbourne, the West Australian has revealed even more about his final season with the Bulls.
Speaking on the In The Pink podcast with Natalie Pinkham, the Aussie leadfoot reflected on his time alongside Verstappen and the struggles of constantly falling victim to mechanical blunders.
Whispers over Red Bull playing favourites with Verstappen picked up speed as Ricciardo's engine failures multiplied following his Renault announcement.
The fierce rivalry with Verstappen was a regular talking point of the season, highlighted by the spectacular fight for pole in Mexico.
Ricciardo pipped Verstappen from becoming the youngest ever pole-sitter in Formula 1 - and the Dutchman wasn't too pleased.
"He was vocal," Ricciardo said.
"He was saying he had issues with driveability and engine mapping affecting the balance. There's been times I've had it, but it wasn't for pole. I wasn't vocal ... but I'll get away from that because I don't want to come across as sour."
Ricciardo was elated after snagging his first pole in a fiery finish to an incredible six-driver shootout. It was enough for fans to put thoughts of Ricciardo's disappointing back end to the season to bed as his eighth F1 victory loomed.
But deep down the Aussie wasn't convinced his car could bring home the silverware, anticipating another engine blowout despite blitzing the field 24 hours previous.
"The reason why I celebrated so much was because A) it'd been a long time since anything good happened on track. And B) if you really want to know the truth, I knew that in 24 hours, what happened could have happened, so make the most of it while it shines," he said.
"Part of me wanted to enjoy that moment because it hadn't come around often and it could be taken away in 24 hours."
He was right.
A heartbreaking hydraulics failure left him stranded on the side of the track 62 laps into the race, leaving the door wide open for Verstappen to take gleeful revenge and adding yet another black mark on the 29-year-old's most frustrating season to date.
"I'm not going to say I didn't get beat this year on the (qualifying) Saturdays, but there were times I thought more things were going on with my car," Ricciardo admitted.
"I'm sure there were some people in the team who were switched off from me and were like 'we're all going for Max now', but again I don't know if that goes to the stuff in the car..."
Ricciardo's In The Pink podcast was recorded in late 2018 but was released to the public on 7/2/2019.