Red Bull's Ricciardo lost sleep amid late F1 season reliability woe

Daniel Ricciardo says he was losing sleep in the second half of the 2018 Formula 1 season, as misfortune dogged his final races as a Red Bull driver

Red Bull's Ricciardo lost sleep amid late F1 season reliability woe

Ricciardo, who will move to Renault for 2019, was as high as third in the standings after his second win in Monaco, but wound up a distant sixth at the end of the campaign.

During the run-in, he was affected by a disproportionate amount of reliability problems, which contributed to him recording more retirements than any other F1 driver in 2018.

It also regularly impacted his starting position by triggering grid penalties. Ricciardo, who grew increasingly frustrated as the issues piled up, admits the mental strain may have impacted his form.

"A lot went on this year and I'd be naive to think it didn't affect me at some points," said Ricciardo.

"It's not like I can pinpoint a race and be like 'that race went badly because I had too much on my mind'.

"I think it's draining and when your mind is ticking over, sometimes rather than sleeping eight hours you're sleeping six hours and then the accumulation of that might slow down your reaction or your reflexes.

"I definitely don't want to make it sound like an excuse but I'm sure there has been an effect to some degree.

"But it's also part of the growing experience and I'm sure it won't be the last time I'm in this position where I have a lot of mechanicals [DNFs] or I have another contract to figure out and sign.

"I'll just try and learn from it and do some reflecting and try and figure out what I could have done better."

After his RB14 machine failed in back-to-back races in the US and Mexico Grands Prix - the latter won by team-mate Max Verstappen - Ricciardo said he was looking forward to giving up his seat.

Reflecting on that moment in a post-season Red Bull podcast, Ricciardo said his crew also found the dramas difficult to cope with.

"I'm in the spotlight and I'm in the car but everyone working, especially the guys in the garage, they are as heartbroken as me - and they worked as many hours, if not more than me, over the course of the race weekend.

"Sometimes I've wanted to get out and go and hide. But fortunately most times I do still know where my heart is and think about them.

"Mexico was tough, that was two on the bounce and pretty brutal. It kind of felt like we were all in the same position and all needed to hug each other.

"It wasn't like 'screw you, you didn't do this for me!' We were all hurting and it was none of our fault.

"There were a few grown men tearing up, just heartbroken."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
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