SPIELBERG, Austria -- Daniel Ricciardo was left ruing his own personal misfortune on what otherwise was a perfect day for Red Bull at its home race.
Having been third fastest on pace all weekend, Red Bull capitalised on Mercedes' remarkable implosion to win with Max Verstappen. At one point Verstappen had been leading Ricciardo and the team appeared to be heading towards a strong finish with both cars.
However Ricciardo encountered severe tyre trouble and, after being passed by Kimi Raikkonen and relegated to third position, he pitted for another set of tyres. Although he was perfectly placed to fight back through the field, he soon pulled up to the side of the road with what Red Bull suspects was an exhaust issue.
"I'm a little bit delirious right now," Ricciardo said after the race. "There's no point being upset. I know what I signed up for with this sport as a kid and sometimes it does this.
"Things happen out of your control, it is what it is but for Red Bull, the team, everyone here, it's the perfect day. I don't want to stand here and talk about my sob story and how my birthday didn't go well but it happens. The soft tyre fell apart which was strange, not sure why it did but I think the broken exhaust was what killed the race in the end."
When asked why he had struggled compared to others, he said: "Yeah it's weird. It was going good and then all of a sudden it quickly fell away.
"You look at the race of Max and it was good and Kimi did the fastest lap at the end of the race. If it worked it worked, but for me and Lewis it fell apart. Just race cars, that's the best explanation. Love them, hate them.
"On a more serious note I'd love to be the one up there but congrats to Max and the team. We've Monaco and we've won their home one so I think they've had a pretty good 2018 so far."