Ricciardo couldn’t switch tyres on to push

Jamie Woodhouse

Daniel Ricciardo not the "intimidated" "hot-headed" youngster he was.

Daniel Ricciardo said he was never able to get his tyres in the right window to be able to push during the Portuguese GP.

Renault and Ricciardo have been on a real high in recent races with Ricciardo’s podium at the Eifel Grand Prix marking his first with the team and Renault’s first top-three finish since returning to the series as a manufacturer in 2016.

But Ricciardo’s run of top-six finishes ended at five races after he managed only P9 in the Portuguese Grand Prix.

While the Aussie was still happy to have scored points, he was frustrated with his inability to get his tyres in the right window at any stage of the race, costing him any chance to make an impression on those at the head of the midfield pack.

“It was a crazy start to the race, and we did manage to make up some places on the first lap moving up to eighth,” he told the Renault F1 website.

“Once it settled, we struggled for grip on the softs and so we pitted quite early. We had the mediums on for a lengthy spell, so we had to spend a lot of the second stint managing the tyres. I never really had the tyres in the right window so I couldn’t push too hard. Eighth and ninth for the team isn’t a bad result so I think we’ll take that from this weekend.”

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The eighth place Ricciardo talked about was delivered by Esteban Ocon, and the Frenchman was very happy with his performance on a weekend where his form in 2020 had started to attract a bit of criticism.

“That was a good race for me,” he said.

“It was very hard at the start being on the mediums, but I kept calm and together with the team we managed it extremely well and made sure we remained competitive throughout. I completed 53 laps on them! They seemed to last a long time and my pace was strong even towards the end of the stint.

“It kept raining too in short spells, so we had to be mindful of that with the grip levels. In the end I think we did a good job to get both cars inside the top ten.”

Renault remain well in the fight for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship heading into the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The French manufacturer, currently P5, have 114 points on the board while Racing Point in P3 sit on 120.

McLaren split the pair on 116 points.

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