Luckless Daniel Ricciardo was on the wrong end of a double whammy when he was forced to retire from the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Australian suffered a painful end to his 2017 campaign – packing up and parking his Red Bull car and then losing his fourth place in the drivers’ championship to Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.
“This one hurts actually, probably more than the others," said Ricciardo, who has had three enforced exits in the last four races.
“Obviously, I was gutted in Austin, but we had another chance in a week’s time after that, but I don’t have another chance until March now.”
He added losing position in the drivers’ title race was not as tough to take as the race retirement.
“If I’m brutally honest, with that car he (Raikkonen) should have been a long way in front in the championship anyway,” he said.
“So, yeah, I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
Ricciardo started the race from a promising fourth place on the grid.
But his troubles came after only 20 laps when he suffered a hydraulics failure.
“We just had a hydraulics issue,” he confirmed.
“I pitted suddenly because I came out of Turn 19, just before the pits, and something felt weird. I thought I had a puncture, so I just quickly said I’d come in.
“I could feel something was not right and I could feel the steering getting heavier, so I knew it was something hydraulic. A shame.
“It’s just reliability and there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it.
“It’s a pretty bitter way to end the season. Sure, we had some highs, but we finished in a bit of a trench.”
The Aussie’s downer came soon after he had made clear he is in no rush to re-sign with Red Bull and will wait until next year to consider his long-term future.
His current contract runs through next season.
“I’m sure there will be a few discussions in the next week or two, especially with the team,” said Ricciardo.
“But once I get home, and over Christmas, I want to switch off from racing.
“I would like to know something earlier, but I don’t need to do it in the winter.
“I doubt I’ll be signing any dotted lines over the next month unless I get – no probably not even then – I was going to say unless I get a ridiculous offer, but probably not even that.
“It’s not about the offer, it’s about who is going to have the best car for then 2019. It’s worth me seeing how the start of the year goes.
“I don’t want to be too clever and I hope I have every option. I think I’ve got enough time on my side to sit it out a bit.
“Whatever I sign, it’s unlikely going to be a one-year – it’s likely to be a multiple-year deal.
“The peak years of my career are probably the next deal I’ll sign so I want to make sure I maximise that with my driving ability – and that’s why I’m going to take my time.”