Daniel Ricciardo felt under-prepared for his home race, saying he is “too busy pleasing everyone else” after retiring from the Australian GP.
The Aussie retired on lap 32 after damage suffered at the start, when a trip over the grass trying to get past Sergio Perez caused the front wing to be ripped off by a drain.
Further damage was suffered, forcing Ricciardo to take his slowing Renault back to the garage.
And the 29-year-old has put his poor debut weekend for the French team down to a lack of preparation.
“We should be a top-eight car the first half of the season, then even better after that,” he told Sky Sports.
“Bahrain is like a holiday week, nothing going on so I can prepare.
“When the race is over in five seconds I feel that the preparation was not where it should be and I’m too busy pleasing everybody else.”
Ricciardo said he doesn’t know why he is still smiling, citing his poor record in front of the home crowd.
“No-one to blame, other than grass and a big bump of concrete,” he said when talking about the first-lap incident.
“I didn’t want to go on the grass, I had a run on Perez, I saw him move, so moved a bit more and that put my wheel on the grass and as soon as I got the grass there was the gutter.
“I don’t know how I’m smiling, I don’t seem to have a good break here.”