Sainz: Ricciardo making battle for third tough

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz McLaren

Carlos Sainz McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo’s run of points is making the fight for third in the Constructors’ “tougher and tougher” says Carlos Sainz.

The Renault driver has been one of the in form drivers in recent weeks, going on a run of seven successive points-scoring finishes. Two of those, the Nurburgring and Imola, were podium results.

As such Ricciardo has taken hold of fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship with 95 points. He’s also played a big role in Renault moving up to third in the Constructors’ standings.

While earlier in the season it was McLaren who were holding down third, the Woking team has fallen by Renault in recent races, not helped by a hat-trick of retirements and a DNS for Sainz at Spa.

With four races remaining on this year’s calendar, Renault have 135 points with McLaren and Racing Point a point adrift.

“Ricciardo got a lot of points,” Sainz told after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. “The fight for third keeps getting tougher and tougher.

“Our qualifying wasn’t great but our race pace actually was really good. I felt like I was quicker than all the guys in front of me.

“It’s just that for some reason it was very difficult to overtake.

“I could only overtake Lando. And then after that I couldn’t pass Kvyat and the guys in front of me. But I think it was the same for everyone.”

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Sainz reckons he could have added a few more points were it not for Alexander Albon’s spin after the restart.

The Safety Car came out late in the race for Max Verstappen’s stricken Red Bull but stayed out longer than expected when George Russell crashed while warming up his tyres.

That resulted in a six-lap shoot-out, one that Sainz started on the back foot as he had to slam brakes when Albon spun in front of him.

“The Safety Car stayed out on track a little longer than we would have liked, because maybe we could have moved further up on the standings had we had more laps,” he said.

“I had a moment with Albon, who spun right in front of me during the restart. I stamped on the brakes to avoid him and we nearly touched.”

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