WITH just 10 laps remaining in the Mexican Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo was in a good position to score a podium position.
Starting from pole position, Ricciardo had driven a hard-fought race, and was shaping up to defend against a hard-charging Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of the 71-lap grand prix.
Then it happened.
A white wisp of smoke expunged from the exhaust of his Renault-powered Red Bull.
Just a handful of corners later, and it was all over, and Ricciardo was climbing out of his car, not having finished a grands prix for the eighth time this season.
The loveable Aussie had put together a masterful lap in qualifying to deny his lauded teammate Max Verstappen pole position, telling TV cameras afterwards he was “tripping major nutsack”.
Ricciardo’s retirement was his 11th in the last 23 races.
During the grand prix it was all Verstappen, who made a strong start to lead the opening lap. It was a position the Dutchman would not relinquish throughout the race.
Ricciardo then scrapped with Lewis Hamilton for second place in the first half of the race, before the Briton made a mistake heading into turn four. Then it was Vettel’s chance to do battle with The Honey Badger.
The four-time champion finished second during the race, behind Verstappen, but it wasn’t enough to stop Hamilton claiming his fifth world drivers’ championship.
Only needing to finish seventh of better to ensure the title was his, Hamilton settled for fourth place on the day, with Kimi Raikkonen securing the final podium position.
Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top five, with Nico Hulkenberg, Charles Leclerc, Stoffel Vandoorne, Marcus Ericcson, and Pierre Gasly the other points finishers.