Ricciardo praises team after ‘crazy’ victory

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo has praised the efforts of his Red Bull team, following his unlikely comeback through the field to win a frantic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

After starting from tenth on the grid following his crash in Q3 on Saturday, Ricciardo knew that the odds of him taking victory were already slim before the lights went out, before debris in his radiators forced him to make unscheduled early stop.

“I think the odds got pushed even further back when we had to make an unscheduled pitstop early and I think that dropped me back to 17th, my engineer said,” says Ricciardo. “So it’s crazy. Crazy race.”

Despite the setback, Ricciardo says the work of the Red Bull team, including his race engineer Simon Rennie, was instrumental in helping him to navigate through the mayhem of the race and claim an unlikely first win of the season.

“There was a lot, but I thought everyone was really good today,” explains Ricciardo. “Simon’s been strong. In the past, he’s been a bit shy on the radio but I got into him and told him he could talk a bit more. I like the sound of his voice.

“It was good, everyone was helping me out. I kind of said yesterday I was disappointed with the qualifying and obviously my mistake. But I wasn’t too down and I said ‘look, it’s going to be a race of no mistakes and capitalising on moments and opportunities’ and it felt like we did everything we could with that today.”

Ricciardo’s rise through the field was punctuated by some impressive overtaking moves, including a double pass on the Williams pair of Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa along the lengthy front straight.

“Things kind of fell into place quite nicely, but every race start I was able to make positions and make it happen,” says Ricciardo.

“That last one was really important. I think there was Stroll, Massa, [Nico] Hulkenberg, me – all nearly four wide. Managed to get into third on the restart and then that was , in a way, the winning move. Crazy. It’s slowly sinking in.”

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    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    16 comments on “Ricciardo praises team after ‘crazy’ victory”

    1. I thought I would never say this: starting races behind safety car can be better for the show in some circuits than standing starts. Great moves at the end of the main straight!

      1. I disagree. Of course the moves were great, but the moves at the standing start were very nice as well.

    2. I like Danny Ric and i’m super pleased for him, but maaaan is he a lucky son-of-a-gun. Although, i must give it to him: he just has a talent of making the most out of a race when the big favourites hit trouble.

      As for the Grand Prix, this looked like an IndyCar race: really entertaining as a show, hard to predict who’s gonna win it and a bit below F1-level driving.

      1. Hard to disagree with the comment about luck, but it also took a lot of skill to take advantage of the situation: his move on the Williams after the restart was sublime.

        And the red flag actually worked against RIC: he was the only driver of the front runner on the super softs at the time, and would have had a pace advantage.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          26th June 2017, 3:01

          Well, it would have been sublime if one of the Williams’ was not falling back the pack as if it had engine failure.

          1. You’re right Michael. That made the move terrible

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            26th June 2017, 8:07

            I actually think Massa will have won if he didn’t retire. His pace was better than Stroll throughout the race and he had one of the best starts out of all the drivers. He also had a great restart ever time other than when he had the issue with his dampers. Williams seemed to have this exact problem with Bottas in the final race last year. I don’t think I’ve noticed it on any other car recently.

            I think Massa could have finished more than 5 seconds ahead of Stroll and would have managed to get Ricciardo with the speed of the Williams on the fastest part of the track. The gap between Massa’s last win is massive. it will have been amazing if he won which I think was very likely. He certainly looked to have better pace than both Force Indias.

        2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          26th June 2017, 8:02

          It isn’t hard to disagree that he is lucky as he’s also had plenty of bad luck. Just not as much as Verstappen though. Problems in Australia meaning he couldn’t start and Russia too. Possible some other bad luck too I think. Verstappen has had worse luck but Ricciardo isn’t exactly super lucky if we look at the amount of problems he’s had. The thing is, when he has had the opportunity, he really has performed in the races. So most of his podiums were very well deserved. I’d say it is a mix of skill and luck some of the time, but I wouldn’t say he is super lucky as he’s had more reliability problems than plenty of other drivers.

          1. Ricciardo crashed in Q3 in Australia, DNF-en out of the points… In Bahrein he was on P6 when he DNF-ed…
            A total of 6 points lost…while Verstappen lost out on more than 70 realistic points.

            Taking in consideration Ricciardo gained an enoourmous amount of points thanks to other drivers DNF in front of him we can consider him the luckiest man on the grid… if things continue he could even take the championship…. that lucky he is.

    3. That move into turn one was absolutely top drawer. Brilliant stuff from Ric!

      He’s not having the best season, but he’s making the most of his opportunities and that’s what this game is about.

      1. that move was great, no doubt. But to be honest Massa was already having the issues with the broken damper, while Stroll braked way too early in my opionion. He’s still a bit frightened of braving it out with the big boys.

        1. He’s still a bit frightened of braving it out with the big boys.

          And so he should be only 8 races in!

    4. I don’t think the team should be praised for their performance this year. Verstappen has actually driven less laps than Alonso this year. Their current reliabilty is unacceptable.

    5. Fukobayashi (@)
      26th June 2017, 11:05

      Luckiest win i’ve seen in years. Poor Max, dominating Ric on pace at the moment with absolutely f all to show for it.

      1. Indeed, Max is beating Ricciardo left, right and center. Yet through poor reliability, strategy, and mistakes of others he’s 47 point behing Ricciardo.

    6. Arnoud van Houwelingen
      26th June 2017, 20:31

      Max bad luck will end soon enough i am sure! What i don’t like is him not talking to the press afterwards .. I am a big Verstappen fan but that is just wrong. Hopefully he will learn from this!

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