Ricciardo calls for Abu Dhabi track change after "grim" race
Daniel Ricciardo has called on Formula 1 to “play around with the layout” of the Abu Dhabi circuit after a season-ending finale he described as "a bit grim'.
Renault driver Ricciardo drove a lonely race to finish seventh in a race that lacked action, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen dominating and the top three taking the chequered flag in the order they started.
“We know Abu Dhabi as a Sunday venue, it’s not always the most exciting race,” said Ricciardo. “It’s a shame because it is such a great venue, I certainly don’t want to talk the place down because I want to keep coming back here.
“Maybe we could play around with the layout because unfortunately on Sunday it is tricky. It’s sometimes a bit grim from an entertainment point of view.”
Despite the lack of entertainment, Ricciardo claimed his final race as a Renault driver before joining McLaren was still “fairly fun”.
The Australian added: “Knowing my pace was strong and I was creating a gap, that kept me excited.
“It was kind of like just a long time trial that was enduring. Personally, it was a fairly fun race for me, although not a whole lot of action with other guys.
“I think it was the maximum we could have done. Maybe without the safety car I could have put a bit more pressure on the McLarens [but] they were still pretty fast and a long way up. I was just seeing the laps tick over.”
Ricciardo did put in a late-race effort to give his team a parting present by setting the fastest lap, but he conceded he almost made a mistake on the penultimate lap by pushing too hard.
“I think I had the fastest lap on the second last lap, but I actually went off at the last corner,” he explained.
"So I really stretched it on my last lap, but it was a nice way to do my last ever lap in the Renault. It was good to know it was a fast one, so a good sign off.”
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