Daniel Ricciardo stuck to six gears amid 'extreme' power loss
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo says he reached the finish of the Monaco Grand Prix by using just six gears, having suffered an “extreme” loss of power en route to victory.
Ricciardo, having dominated the weekend’s sessions, cruised away from the pack and preserved a comfortable advantage through the sole pit stop phase.
Ricciardo, though, slowed on lap 27 of 78 amid a loss of power, suspected to be down to an MGU-K failure, costing him crucial lap time.
Red Bull guided Ricciardo through the problem, which remained for the rest of the race, and he received repeated messages of encouragement from engineer Simon Rennie.
Sebastian Vettel remained a lurking threat for much of the second stint but Ricciardo pulled clear across the final laps to triumph, and expressed relief in the aftermath.
“I think Adrian [Newey] said it was about Lap 18 we had problems,” said Ricciardo.
“We were controlling the race, we pitted, then I think a few laps after the pit stop, I went on-throttle, and I had what felt like half the amount of power to what I was normally having.
“I thought it was just going to drop. I basically expected my race to be over in a few corners, because it came suddenly. I was doing multiple switch changes. I think we lost the K.
“After a few laps obviously I was stressing out a bit. I asked the team “can we do anything about this?” and they said “no, this is you for the rest of the race now”, and I could see Seb catching.
“For a few laps, I was thinking what do we have to do to win around here. I still don’t really know how we did it.
“Obviously the track is difficult to overtake. We were able to just be nice on the tyres. That was not a good feeling.
“I couldn’t really enjoy much of the race after that, I was just trying to manage the issues. Brake balance, we had quite a few issues, I don’t really know how we got there, but we won.”
When asked to explain how he had to adapt to the problems, Ricciardo said: “Yeah so obviously I had a lot less power, so that was the obvious thing.
“The brakes, the rear brakes then got very hot. I think I went 6-7 percent forwards with the brake balance and that’s a lot.
“Maybe we go 1-2 percent change in the race, at least for us. We had to go a long way forward, and I had to lift a lot before braking to save the brakes and put less energy through them.
“The pace was slow with the power, the pace was slow to manage the tyres, and then the pace was slow because I was managing the brakes, hence why it felt like a very long race. But we got it home.”