Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has apologised to Daniel Ricciardo after his driver's retirement at the Mexican Grand Prix was traced to a clutch issue on Sunday night.
Ricciardo was running in a strong second place behind Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and fending off Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel when his car broke down with ten laps remaining. His retirement in Mexico is the latest in a long list of mechanical failures this year and means he has failed to make the chequered flag on eight occasions in 2018.
Horner took to Instagram to apologise to Ricciardo after the race.
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I'm delighted the Team secured victory today, but it's bittersweet to have lost Daniel when we looked set for a 1-2. It was a fantastic drive by Max who controlled the race in an extremely mature manner. The frustration for us as a Team is that we didn't have both drivers on the podium. Our apologies go to Daniel today, we will continue to fight as a Team for both drivers to score as many points as possible in the remaining races. Congratulations on securing a fifth Drivers' World Championship @lewishamilton 🏆🇲🇽 #mexicogp #redbullracing #f1
Speaking about the issue which forced the Australian to retire, Horner said: "It looks like clutch that, looking at the data, probably started about lap 6. It looks similar to the issue that Max had on Friday. We've quarantined it all and will get it all back to the UK to understand it, but that is what is looking like the culprit.''
Ricciardo was extremely frustrated after the race, telling the media his car was ''cursed''. Horner said he understands his driver's frustrations and hopes Ricciardo's luck can turn as he enters his final two races with Red Bull before joining Renault in 2019.
"He's just had an immensely frustrating afternoon,'' Horner added. "You can understand his emotions are running incredibly high. It's gutting not just for him but for the whole team because we were looking at potentially a one-two finish which has enormous value to us.
"You can understand his frustration and hope that this dark cloud that is following him around lifts for the final two races."