Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he was advised before United States Grand Prix qualifying to steer clear of the kerbs that sidelined his Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen.
Verstappen's hopes of a good grid slot at Austin were wrecked in Q1 after his right rear suspension was broken when he ran over the kerbs at the exit of the Turn 15 left-hander in the complex near the end of the lap.
The damage to the Red Bull's suspension and driveshaft could not be fixed before Q2 finished so Verstappen had to sit out the rest of qualifying. He will start 13th.
Although some drivers were told after Verstappen's incident to avoid hitting the kerbs, Ricciardo says that his engineer had warned him before the session about not using them.
"[In final practice] already I saw a few cars use them and I think Max was one of them," explained Ricciardo.
"I had a look on the data before qualifying to see how much it puts through the car, the impact, and already my engineer advised me not to do that. So I was going to stay off them."
Ricciardo said he had already been cautious about abusing Austin track limits after his steering got damaged on kerbs last year in the closing stages of Q3.
"I remember I hit one last year, on the last lap of qualifying coming out of the last corner," he said.
"It knocked the steering and toe out, so even when I used it last year it did something.
"So it isn't really worth it, unless it is the last corner where you don't really care."
Ricciardo managed to qualify fifth, and felt there was little chance of doing any better with both Mercedes and Ferrari well clear of Red Bull-Renault this weekend.
He suspects the gap to the teams ahead is because Austin has become a power track with the current cars.
"Part of my explanation is that it is a bit like Silverstone now, where the first sector is a power sector as opposed to a downforce sector," Ricciardo explained.
"Turn 2 is full [throttle], Turn 3 is full, 4 is full, 5 is full, 6 was like a micro-lift that is as good as full now.
"So if we have got more downforce we are not gaining there, we are losing because if they are full with more power then it is being magnified.
"They [Mercedes and Ferrari] also have more beans to use in qualifying.
"The race will bring it back. But they are quick around here.
"Ferrari is more a surprise than Mercedes. I knew Mercedes would be fast but Ferrari found some as well."