Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull's struggles in the Grand Prix of Europe were "really unexpected" after two-stopping his way to seventh place.
Following Sergio Perez's gearbox penalty, Ricciardo started from the front row of the grid alongside Nico Rosberg in Baku and managed to keep pace with the Mercedes for the opening few laps. Rosberg soon started to pull a gap and Ricciardo was overtaken by Sebastian Vettel before pitting, but he needed a second stop for medium tyres to reach the finish, dropping him down the order.
Asked if he could be happy with Red Bull's race, Ricciardo replied: "Not with the race result.
"Starting second and at least staying there for a couple laps, we put ourselves in a good position to fight for the podium. But we didn’t have the pace. I don’t think we made any mistakes on track, or with strategy. I don’t think that there was anything we could have done today, it was just that we suffered with rear tires. Already on lap four I was wheel spinning in fourth and fifth gear, so that was a sign that it was going to be a tough day."
And Ricciardo is at a loss to explain why Red Bull had difficulty, adding: "It is really unexpected.
"We have been very competitive at Singapore over the years, and that is a high braking and very hot circuit. So we expected to be good here today. We will have to understand why. The season has been unpredictable. When we expect to go quick sometimes, we are not, and when we don’t, we are. So as long as we understand today I think from a team’s point of view we did all we could. There isn’t anything we could have done better. But we have to understand why we didn’t have the pace."