Singapore GP: Safety car periods 'dictated the race' - Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo believes both safety car periods in the Singapore Grand Prix cost him a shot at beating Sebastian Vettel to take the fourth Formula 1 victory of his career

Singapore GP: Safety car periods 'dictated the race' - Ricciardo

The Red Bull driver spent the entire race chasing Vettel, but his hopes of using his car's better tyre life to attack the Ferrari were dashed with both rounds of pitstops taking place under neutralised race conditions.

Ricciardo was looking particularly strong before the first pitstops, when Vettel appeared to be struggling after pushing too hard in the early laps of the race.

When asked if the safety car ended his hopes of victory, Ricciardo said: "I think that dictated the race really.

"I'm not saying there were any guarantees, but the first stint we were coming on quite strong.

"As the laps were ticking down, we were coming alive, I could lean on the tyres a bit more and I could see it was working in my hands.

"When I saw the safety car come out I was a bit frustrated but I knew there was one more stop - one more chance to repeat the same procedure.

"But then the safety car came out again. That was it - we tried to do what we could."

Ricciardo believes Vettel learned from the problems he had in the first stint, and the race winner said he was surprised to open out such a big lead so quickly after the start.

"I was driving a bit into the unknown, so I was trying to put a gap," said Vettel.

"I was surprised to put five seconds straight away and then eased off.

"I was probably pushing a bit hard which allowed Daniel to be quicker at the end.

"The safety car answered all the questions for the first stop and also the second stop - it was straightforward."

While Vettel never pulled a big gap on Ricciardo again, he was also able to prevent the Red Bull from getting close enough to attack.

"I was controlling the pace in the second stint, and the last stint I knew the prime tyre is more resilient, so I could maintain the gap.

"I wanted to put two-three seconds between us, to make sure Dan doesn't get to excited and attack at the end and it worked."

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