Daniel Ricciardo says he’s done with the 2018 Red Bull Formula 1 entry after suffering yet more reliability woes in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Retiring for the eighth time this season, Ricciardo cannot wait to exit the Red Bull team and get started with his 2019 team, Renault. Running strongly after a poor start, Ricciardo had recovered back to second place and was looking good to make it a Red Bull one-two, but fate, it seems, had other ideas.

Mechanical problems have plagued him since announcing the move -- Ricciardo has failed to finish in six of his last 11 starts -- and even after the elation of taking pole on Saturday in Mexico City, the Australian’s mood plummeted even lower after his second consecutive retirement with engine issues.

“I don’t even think frustration is the word anymore,” said Ricciardo. “Helpless I think is the best word. Another problem with this car. It hasn’t been a clean weekend for so long.

“Even today, you know the starts have been good all weekend -- the practice starts. For the race start, it’s all over the place with the prestart. And just, things are happening on a Sunday which I have no more explanation for. Honestly, I don't see the point of coming on Sunday. I don't see the point of doing the next two races. I'm not superstitious or any of that bullshit, but the car's cursed. Just things are happening on Sundays that I've got no more explanation for.

“I don’t know, the car is just … I’ll let (2019 Red Bull driver Pierre) Gasly drive it, I’m done with it.”

The likelihood of Ricciardo making good on his threat that he will step aside for his 2019 Red Bull replacement to step in two races early is very low. Meanwhile, team boss Christian Horner hopes the dark clouds over him will lift for the remaining two Grands Prix.

“He just had an immensely frustrating afternoon,” said Horner. “You can understand his frustration and hope that this dark cloud that’s following around lifts for the final two races.”

Source: Autoweek

October 31, 2018