Vettel, who harassed the Red Bull vehicle before conceding defeat in the closing stages of Sunday's glamorous grand prix, cuts Hamilton's championship lead to 14 points. Ricciardo's issues allowed the Mercedes to close in on the top two midway through the race, but tyre troubles meant he never got close enough to attempt an overtaking move. "That was the most boring race I've ever participated in".
Vettel maintained the pressure on Ricciardo right up until a Virtual Safety Car was declared for a crash involving Sauber's Charles Leclerc and Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley.
The Australian is out of contract with Red Bull at the end of the year and champions Mercedes or Ferrari are possible alternatives, with Finns Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen yet to be confirmed. I was 10 seconds behind, but I was conflicted because in my heart I wanted to win this race, but the team just asked me to bring the auto home'.
Another retirement in the race was that of Fernando Alonso in the McLaren on Lap 26, who suffered issues with his gearbox whilst in seventh place. Things went downhill after a pit stop. "Of course not on every track we can show that potential because of the deficit on the straight but it's good to know we have a good auto".
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Instead, Patrick crashed just 67 laps into the race and was unable to finish, ending her final Indy 500 on a sour note. The rest of the field missed Patrick as she came to rest on the infield grass.
"After the loss of power I thought the race was done, but I got home using just six gears". The display eventually came back, but the tyre problems persisted and it soon became clear that only a mistake from the vehicle in front would result in an overtaking opportunity.
To combat this Ricciardo shifted the brake bias of his Red Bull forward by "6-7%", three times as much as might be shifted during a normal race, and employed more lift-and-cost into corners.
"We were just cruising around from lap six, literally cruising", the Englishman, who finished third, told reporters. "It feels good, it feels good". In fact, it would be safe to say that on the basis of his current form, Ricciardo is more bankable a driver for a consistent season-long campaign than Verstappen. It was a fearless move by the team but one that did not pay off as Vettel pitted four laps later and came back out in front of his championship rival.
But despite being down on the straights, he was still able to keep Vettel at bay as the German struggled with his tyres. Vettel is second with 96 points and Ricciardo is third with 72 points.