Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany stands in the pits after retiring in the Monaco F1 Grand Prix in Monaco May 25, 2014. Photo by Boris Hovat, Reuters.
MONACO - Quadruple Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel looked for a quick getaway after his 100th race for Red Bull ended in retirement after just eight laps of Monaco on Sunday.
"How do I escape from this? I don't have a boat here, but I'll try to get home as quickly as I can," the 26-year-old German said after enduring another miserable weekend in a troubled season.
Vettel, who had energy recovery problems in qualifying, had made a good start to take third place from Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo behind the two Mercedes drivers but slowed on lap four and reported he had no power.
"Come on guys," exclaimed the frustrated driver, before adding: "I mean, you're trying everything."
After a long pit stop, Vettel returned to the track in last place but then told his team over the radio on lap seven that he was stuck in first gear.
On lap eight, with a string of blue flags warning him to let faster cars through, he was told to return to the pits and retire.
The team confirmed the problem was with the car's kinetic energy recovery unit.
Vettel, winner of the last four championships and final nine races of 2013, has been on the podium just once this season - third in Malaysia in March.
The German started the weekend in fourth place in the championship, 55 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton who had won the last four races for Mercedes.
"It's obviously disappointing - after a good start we lost too much pressure from the turbo and we had to retire," he told the BBC.
"I feel quite helpless in the car because I don't know what the problem is. I hoped they'd have an answer but they didn't this time."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)