Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says that Daniel Ricciardo vented his anger of retiring from the US Grand Prix by punching a hole through his driver room wall. The Australian was forced to pull over on lap nine and retire the car after a total power unit shut down.
Ricciardo will leave Red Bull at the end of the year to join Renault, who currently supplies engines to the energy drink squad. The failure in Austin was Ricciardo's seventh retirement of the year and Horner says that he feels empathy for his driver.
"It’s a crying shame for Daniel, I feel so sorry for him,” said Horner. "It looks identical to the power unit issue he had in Bahrain where it’s just gone into complete shutdown – you could see it mid-corner.
“He was driving a strong Grand Prix and would have been right there too. It’s so frustrating for him. He’s taken out his frustration in his room by putting his fist through the wall which you can totally relate to.”
Horner is adamant that the issue was Renault-related rather than a Red Bull issue and says he expects Ricciardo to speak to them about it: “I’m sure he’ll be having a word with his future employers about it – it’s so frustrating to keep losing him from races at the moment.
“He doesn’t blame the team in any way, he knows we are doing everything we can, it’s just one of those things. Hopefully we’ve got enough components in our [engine] pool for him not to take a penalty [next weekend in Mexico].
“I think both guys can be strong in Mexico. We won it well last year, a really dominant win for us. “At that altitude the engines can’t breathe and it brings it all closer together, and that gives us a chance. We’re lacking that horsepower, and this will give us a fairer chance on a Saturday, and you can see we’ve got a good race car.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing