Monday, 04 december 2017, 09:47 , by Matthew Scott
Daniel Ricciardo has confessed that he had the watching public in his mind during the 'dull' Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina, and admitted that he believes the circuit itself paired with the heavier, wider cars made for the unspectacular proceedings.
With the drivers' and constructors' championships already decided before the final Grand Prix of the campaign, there was only rankings points to play for.
Ricciardo did claim that he attempted to make the most of the race by getting beyond Sebastian Vettel, but once this proved improbable he sat back and thought of the viewers watching the action, or lack of action, on television.
“After I’d fended off Kimi [Raikkonen] early on, I was driving around and just about hanging on to Seb [Sebastian Vettel] in front of me, but probably didn’t have the pace to follow him in his dirty air and pass him,” Ricciardo told Red Bull’s website.
“Fourth looked like the best it could have got, and I was genuinely thinking about the viewers, because it was pretty dull,” he continued.
“The combination of the track layout there and how hard it is for these cars to run close to each other, it just didn’t work. Definitely wasn’t much of a spectacle.”
“I don’t 100 per cent know why the track doesn’t produce great racing, but I think that when you have a slow corner leading onto a long straight like we do there in a couple of places, and when the DRS zone starts – in my opinion anyway – too late, then you end up with these static races where not a lot happens.”
Ricciardo always predicted that the 2017 chassis and engine changes were going to have a negative impact on races this season, but not quite as much as they have done.
“The cars this year – wider, bigger tyres, more disturbed air behind – were always going to make this one tough,” he added.
“It was worse than we feared, most probably. Not getting any points didn’t help my mood, to be fair.”