Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix three races ago and his team-mate Lando Norris was on course to do the same in Russia until a gamble to stay out on slicks during a late rain shower cost him victory.
Its performance was not as strong in Istanbul, however, as Ricciardo was knocked out of Q1 in qualifying and failed to climb into the points from the back after taking an engine penalty, while Norris could manage only seventh.
“I don’t want to dismiss this weekend but from a trajectory, I don’t want it to get our spirits down. It’s one of those weekends that wasn’t good,” said Ricciardo.
“Hopefully we will get a bit of information on the table and learn something, but I don’t want this weekend to affect our momentum. It’s just one of those days. As long as we can learn, we can move on.”
Ricciardo – Early tyre change was ‘desperation’ move
McLaren opted for an early pit stop to change Ricciardo’s tyres after he struggled to make his way through the field as the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who also started from the back, scythed his way through.
“I struggled at the beginning with the front,” explained Ricciardo.
“I saw Carlos cut through the traffic and we just couldn’t. As soon as I got behind someone I lost the front and then it started to get dead so we pitted.
“We thought we would be quick with clear air on a new tyre but we weren’t really that quick. We went through a phase when it was mediocre and it was like it had cleared.
“I remember four good laps where I felt like I could really lean on the tyre and I started to smile under the helmet, then it fell away again and the last ten laps was just very difficult, just the rear.
“I had a look at the end and you could see the canvas, so it was down to the core. I don’t want to use the word desperation but it was lets try something because I was behind Russell and I was there for 10 laps and he was starting to pull away.
“It was just a gamble because we didn’t have much to lose, and it was also good data for Lando as well – but I don’t say that like it was a sacrifice for me, I felt like we had to try something.”