McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has conceded Daniel Ricciardo had "nothing left to lose" after being the first to gamble on slick tyres at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Sunday's Imola race began on a wet but drying track with intermediate tyres fitted to all 20 cars.
After starting sixth alongside team-mate Lando Norris on the third row, Ricciardo's day quickly unravelled at the first corner when the Australian made contact with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and dropped to the back of the field.
On lap 18, as the track dried, this left McLaren able to throw caution to the wind and switch Ricciardo to slick tyres first.
“We were the first ones because there was nothing left to lose when you run at the back with a damaged car and it was obviously a chance to get feedback from Daniel for Lando on how it was going out there," explained Seidl.
“Actually, by that move, we gained two or three positions and were on the back of Lewis and got stuck in a train.
"So there was again nowhere to go and nothing to gain, that is why we went for the next gamble, putting Daniel early on the hard tyre because at this time of the race it wasn’t clear yet if we could run through on the mediums or not.
“But with nothing else happening in the race, there was nothing to gain but it wouldn’t have changed anything if he had stayed at the back of Lewis because then he would have also finished P14 or P15.”
Imola hosted the first sprint weekend of the current F1 season but did the revised format work?
Max Verstappen took a dominant grand slam win at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with Red Bull scoring an incredible 58 points from 59, a record haul for any team at a single event.
The race came off the back of a chaotic qualifying session that featured five red flags and mixed up the grid but far from enjoying a somewhat odd starting lineup, the sprint somewhat normalised the order despite its thrilling action.
So our question to you is this, did the F1 sprint work at Imola?