Daniel Ricciardo says he “knows George Russell’s pain” after the Briton’s chance of victory slipped away in Bahrain, comparing it to his own Monaco 2016 setback.
Russell controlled the Sakhir Grand Prix on his Mercedes debut, keeping Valtteri Bottas at bay, but a communication mix-up in the pits wrecked his race.
It meant Russell was initially sent back on track with front tyres that were part of Bottas’ allocation and had to be called in again, demoting him to fifth position.
Russell recaptured second, and chased down Sergio Perez, but sustained a left-rear puncture that necessitated another stop, leaving the Mexican clear to take his maiden victory.
Ricciardo said Russell’s fortune reminded him of his own pit stop disaster in Monaco four years ago, when a delay in getting tyres from the back of Red Bull’s garage to the pit box cost Ricciardo several seconds and lost him the lead.
“An insane race looking back on it, Checo got his first win after nearly being out on lap 1! Long time coming so congrats again to him,” Ricciardo posted on his social media pages.
“George also had something which reminded me of Monaco 2016. Damn. I know his pain but he’s a young rooster and will get plenty more stabs at it. So in short, F1 won yesterday.
“Fifth for me seems ok on paper but yeah not the best executed race. Was pretty filthy but all good. One to go. Let’s close out 2020 strong as it has been and f*** this year right off!”
Ricciardo holds fifth place in the standings, 13 points behind Sakhir winner Perez, and 14 clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who did not score after colliding with Perez on the opening lap.