Ricciardo’s podium hopes ‘went into a hole’

Jon Wilde
Daniel Ricciardo PA

Daniel Ricciardo rued a day that started with “great hope” and the prospect of a podium finish but “went into a bit of a hole” at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

The Australian fancied his chances of doing a ‘shoey’ (drinking champagne from his shoe) on the podium after he qualified his Renault in P5 as the race looked wide open apart from the two Mercedes cars on the front row.

However, it was his former team-mate Max Verstappen who resumed his place as the biggest threat to the Mercs, indeed beating the World Champions to victory in his Red Bull, whereas Ricciardo’s fortunes nosedived.

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From P5, he tumbled down the order to finish P14, a lap down, with the low point being a spin as he tried to fend off a challenge from Carlos Sainz in “a battle I don’t think we should have been in”.

Ricciardo explained: “I thought it was looking pretty good, but I think we knew deep down the only thing that would hold us back was the medium tyre – we didn’t have two sets of hard tyres.

“I don’t think we wanted to admit it but we knew that was a bit of a concern, having to use two sets of mediums in the race if we were doing a two-stop, which was the plan.

“The first set of mediums wasn’t bad. I don’t think we were lightning-fast but I think we were hanging in there with the Racing Points, so it felt like it was going good.

“But then we pitted, put another set of mediums on to follow the two-stop (strategy) and the second medium just didn’t work. We had to pit shortly after for the hard and were out of sequence in a battle I don’t think we should have been in and I spun trying to hold Carlos off.

“I killed those tyres with the spin, so it was a race that went into a bit of a hole. I’m trying not to cry about it but it’s one of those days. We’ve got to learn from it – a Sunday with great hope and little reward.”

Ricciardo’s team-mate Esteban Ocon had a more encouraging day, finishing P8 from a P14 start.

“I think it was a very good race on our side,” said the Frenchman. “Definitely a solid race, very well-managed, aggressive strategy.

“I don’t think eighth is where Renault is. If we had qualified better we could have been a bit further up. Daniel was a bit unfortunate in his race but for me it was a good recovery.”

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