Red Bull feared Ricciardo gearbox exit
18 September 2017 – Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says the squad feared that Daniel Ricciardo would have to retire from the Singapore Grand Prix due to a gearbox problem.
Ricciardo, having dominated Friday practice, lined up from third, and moved up to second at the start amid drama elsewhere, despite being overhauled by Lewis Hamilton.
He held second over the course of the time-limited race but was unable to provide a threat to Hamilton up front, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot for the third straight year.
However, his Red Bull team feared that Ricciardo would not reach the chequered flag due to a gearbox issue in the RB13.
"Daniel started to lose an awful lot of gearbox oil, which created a lot of problems with oil pressure," revealed Horner.
"We were feeling that it was looking unlikely that Daniel would get to the end of the race.
"However he managed to nurse the gearbox of the car incredibly well for three-quarters of the Grand Prix.
"Though able to hold off any threat from behind from Valtteri [Bottas], unfortunately he could not attack Lewis ahead."
Ricciardo, though, did not feel that the gearbox problem denied him a shot at victory.
"I was just advised to do some short shifts from fairly early in the race and I was then reminded to continue to do that up to the end," he said.
"[But] I don't think it changed the shape of the race; I don't think that was the reason that we were second and not first."
Ricciardo strengthened fourth position in the championship as a result of his podium.