Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo believes fifth was all he could get at Monza, given Renault’s power deficit to rivals Mercedes.
Monza is a typical power circuit with long straights followed mostly by chicanes, thus suiting Mercedes powered cars which have a massive advantage over rivals Ferrari and Renault. In such circumstances, Ricciardo was pleased to finish as the lead non-Mercedes powered car, especially after his poor start.
“The start wasn’t ideal,’’ said Spa winner Ricciardo. “It’s one of the longest runs up to Turn One here from the start line and it’s not a place where you want to have a bad one, but I dropped the clutch and didn’t get the traction, so we will have to look at that, but we kept a cool head and picked our way back through the field. I think fifth, even with a good start, was the best we could do.”
The Australian did a long first stint on medium tyres than most of his rivals(he pitted on lap 26), allowing him to charge through the field on fresher tyres at the end of the race. The strategy paid dividends later and he finished ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, despite starting one place behind him on the grid.
“The strategy helped today, it kept the tyres fresh enough to go those extra few laps at the end. I saw the cars in front of me pit and the pace was still good enough, so seeing that we didn’t have great pace when we were out of position then we thought we would try something different and that’s why we went long, which helped towards the end of the race.“
“I was more comfortable with the prime tyre and was able to do some good moves, which kept me smiling,” he added.