Ricciardo had ‘no answer’ for Albon

Jamie Woodhouse

Daniel Ricciardo had "no answer" for Alex Albon's late pace at Mugello.

A first Renault podium continues to elude Daniel Ricciardo after having “no answer” to Alex Albon’s pace at the Tuscan Grand Prix.

After the second race restart Ricciardo was able to pass the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to make it into P2, but Bottas soon reclaimed that position on lap 48 of 59.

From there the Aussie looked set to score his first podium finish for Renault, but by Lap 50 he was demoted from P3 by the resurgent Alex Albon who more than made up for his poor restart.

Naturally Ricciardo was disappointed to miss out on a few gulps of champagne on the podium, while Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul once again escaped a tattoo by the skin of his teeth. The bet of course being that he must get one, as chosen by Ricciardo, if he finishes on the podium for Renault.

But the wait goes on until Sochi at least, with Ricciardo saying he had “no answer” for Albon’s pace in the latter stages of the Tuscan Grand Prix.

“To be honest I wasn’t thinking about tattoo designs, but I was thinking about the trophy and some champagne,” he told reporters at Mugello.

“It was hot out there, so I was certainly thirsty for that.

“It’s at the end the last part of the race, that final restart, Albon showed more pace than he had all race and we didn’t have an answer for that. He was really quick on the softs [tyres], on lower fuel, and it looked like that suited them more than us. I felt really good in the car but third sector was where he had us and that’s where you latch on to the DRS. We didn’t have an answer really.”

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It was Lance Stroll’s crash which caused the second red flag period of the race, and Ricciardo thinks that did him no favours in his fight for P3.

“If there wasn’t a red [flag] for Stroll, I guess, we had track position at the time and the medium was looking pretty good for us – I felt a bit in control of the pace,” he admitted.

“It’s pretty crazy, three reds in the last week. But they all had reason, there was big accidents.

“We’ll keep coming back and we’ll try to do it. I don’t feel like we missed out today, we put ourselves there, we didn’t have the speed at the end.”

Nonetheless P4 matches Ricciardo’s best result for Renault, his second P4 finish in the last three races.

“If Albon got me at the start and I’d dropped back to fourth I could have maybe said ‘if we had him we could have held on to track position’, but we had it, and we lost it. So that’s just on pure speed and pace,” he continued.

“I don’t feel too sad, I’d have loved to be up there so that certainly hurts, but diagnosing ourselves, our evaluation of the race, my race and the strategy – we undercut Stroll – we couldn’t do anything else.”

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