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Exclusive: RB rue ‘difficult to swallow’ missed opportunity in China

RB endured a difficult Chinese Grand Prix last weekend with both of its drivers retiring from the race after being hit by rival cars. Speaking to RacingNews365, team principal Laurent Mekies detailed the disappointment felt within the squad.

Tsunoda Ricciardo China
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

RB team principal Laurent Mekies has reflected on a “very disappointing” outing for his squad in China that resulted in a double non-finish result.

Daniel Ricciardo suffered race-ending damage when he was hit by Lance Stroll at the Turn 14 hairpin in Shanghai as the drivers prepared for a safety car restart.

Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was involved in an incident moments later, being spun around by Haas' Kevin Magnussen and was also forced to withdraw from the event.

Speaking exclusively to RacingNews365, Mekies rued a missed opportunity to score points at the Shanghai International Circuit.

“It is super disappointing because you get both your cars taken out of the race in separate incidents by competitors [within] one minute [of] time,” he said.

“So it is very disappointing. We feel we had everything to fight for that P10. We were in that fight, Daniel was producing a strong drive until then.

“Just before the safety car, he was actually attacking Lewis [Hamilton].

“We feel we were in good shape to fight with Nico [Hulkenberg] for that position. It's the way it is. We’ve lost that opportunity through no fault of our drivers. So we know we have to take it on the chin and move forward.”

Focusing on positives

RB has bagged a duo of top-10 finishes in the opening five rounds this year, with Tsunoda securing a season-best seventh in Australia.

Despite being denied the opportunity to add more points to its tally in China, Mekies highlighted he is focusing on the positives amid the disappointing results.

“For sure it’s difficult to swallow but we need to look at the positives,” he said. “The positives are that once again here, we had time to fight for the P10.

“And every weekend, it's a fight for that last half-a-tenth to be in that fight or not. And we were here as well, this weekend.

“We had started in a slower fashion on Friday but somehow we managed to recover through the weekend and to be with the right pace to fight for that point. So that's the positive.”

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