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Published: 19:02 | 29/5/16

Ricciardo bemoans 'headless chickens'

Red Bull racer upset by crew's unpreparedness

Daniel Ricciardo was angered by pit-stop problems that likely cost him a victory in Monaco, where Lewis Hamilton instead triumphed.

The Australian led from pole position early on in Monte Carlo before pitting to swap his full-wet tyres for intermediates, with the track quickly drying, whilst Mercedes driver Hamilton remained out longer to allow him to make a direct switch to slicks.

Ricciardo remained in an advantageous position following the stops but when he was brought in for a second time, to change to dry-weather tyres, the Red Bull crew were not ready to service his car.

Following a long delay, Ricciardo reappeared behind Hamilton, and the Englishman was able to hold off his opponent to win the race, with the Red Bull man finishing second.

"Two races in a row - that’s all I can say," bemoaned Ricciardo, referencing the Spanish Grand Prix, where a botched pit-stop ruined his hopes of being victorious, like in Monaco.

"We were quick in the wet, we had a comfortable lead, pitted for inters, got stuck behind Lewis, and we just effectively put ourselves in a race that we didn’t need to be in. Then I got called into the pits for the slicks, and the tyres weren’t ready. I didn’t make the call.

"I got to the pits, and everyone’s running around like headless chooks.

"I don’t like being up here being miserable, because I got a podium in Formula 1, so it should be a good day, but when it happens two weekends in a row, it’s hard to take. (I'm) massively, massively disappointed."

Hamilton's win, coupled with only a seventh-place result for teammate Nico Rosberg, allowed the Englishman to significantly reduce the German's World Championship lead.

Rosberg was running second early in the race but brake issues severely cost the standings leader, as Hamilton closed the gap to 24 points.

"I honestly don’t know what happened to Nico today but something must have gone wrong because he backed off for a second, or went slow, and I went passed him, as far as I can remember,” said Hamilton.

"He perhaps had something up today. I don’t know what that is yet.”

The victory is Hamilton’s first of the current season.

“Honestly, today, I just can’t believe it,” continued the former McLaren driver.

”I’m only human so I think that, for everyone, we are always battling those demons and those thoughts in your mind, and then coming out with a day like today, it just confirms the positive thoughts that I had - to never give up.

“It’s the same thing that Dad told me when I was seven years old in the boxing ring with some kid punching the lights out of me: just never give up, keep pushing, and eventually you get there.

“I think today has just proven again that my dad was right, so I’ll continue to go with that motto."

By David Maher

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