Mixed feelings for Ricciardo

Tuesday 14-May-2013 13:18

Daniel Ricciardo was relieved that he hung on for a point in Barcelona, but he feels Toro Rosso should finish higher up the grid.

There have been plenty of highs and lows for the Australian in recent races as he finished seventh in China and followed it up with P16 in Bahrain. However, he was back in the points at the Spanish Grand Prix as he moved from 11th on the starting grid to secure 10th.

It was anything but easy though as he had to hold off the charging Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez during the closing stages of the race.

Although pleased to have picked up a point, Ricciardo believes Toro Rosso are still not extracting the full potential from the STR8.

"Coming away from the Circuit de Catalunya I'm pleased that the race finished with the reward of a point but slightly disappointed also, because I think the car has the pace to finish higher - if we can only figure out how to extract it," he wrote in his blog on the official Toro Rosso website.

"The race suggested that we're nearly there but not quite. In the beginning I thought we were nowhere. I wasn't happy with the balance of the car in that first stint - in fact I was angry because I knew the car had more potential and we just weren't using it. Then, the next two stints were really good. The car started working better, I was passing people instead of being passed. At that point I thought we were looking like scoring quite heavily. Then on the last two stints the pace dropped away again and we had to really scramble to hold on to 10th.

"With a few laps left, the team said GutiƩrrez was about three seconds behind me - but a couple of corners later he was right on my gearbox. Three seconds! Where did that go? Initially, because he caught me so quickly, I thought he'd be able to walk around me - but I was able to just tick the laps off one-by-one and cover him in the areas where he might be able to pass.

"I just got it - but that last lap was tight. Coming out of Turn 10 he got nearly alongside me and we were both sideways out of there. I was desperately trying to hold on to it. It was a great relief when I crossed the line in front."

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