Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Monza, 2017

Ricciardo enjoys ‘fun’ fightback to fourth

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says he had ‘fun’ during his drive from 16th on the grid to fourth in the Italian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver started down the field after a series of grid penalties and battled back to finish fourth after a long first stint, catching Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari in the final laps.

“We were closing on the podium,” says Ricciardo. “At one stage we were catching Seb about a second a lap – 1.1 seconds. At that rate, we would’ve caught him by the last lap. But I think then he was able to turn it up a bit and I was using every bit of my tyres that I could.

“It was fun. I definitely had some really good overtakes. A little bit like the race in 2014, we came through the pack and had some little highlights for the year so hopefully today we created a few more.”

Ricciardo ran a long opening stint on the soft tyres, eventually pitting on lap 38 to switch to the supersoft compound for the final 15 laps.

“It went better than I thought,” says Ricciardo of the team’s strategy. “To be honest, I think there was a little bit of contact in the first chicane, maybe the second chicane as well.

“I guess being in heavy traffic as well, but the tyres were feeling quite gooey, I would say. I didn’t feel like I could get much out of them, but once we cleared a few guys and got clear air we had some good pace. So that was enough to overcut Ocon and those guys. The team got the quickest pit stop, so thanks to them, as that gave us a charge at the end.”

Ricciardo performed an impressive late-braking maneuver on Kimi Raikkonen at the Retiffilo Chicane to take fourth place from the Ferrari driver.

“I’ll give him the credit in saying he raced clean and fair, but I would’ve done that on anyone to be honest,” explains Ricciardo.

“I think especially when you’re coming through the field and have all that momentum, it doesn’t matter who you’re up against. I was aware that the deeper I got towards the front, the harder the overtaking would be as normally they’re going quicker, so the speed difference is normally not as much. But in the end I had blinkers on for the move and happy to pull it off.”

With Singapore projected to suit the RB13 better than Monza, Ricciardo says he is looking forward to the next race.

“I think we’ll lap the field in Singapore, so looking forward to that…”

2017 Italian Grand Prix reaction

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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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  • 10 comments on “Ricciardo enjoys ‘fun’ fightback to fourth”

    1. He might not be beating Max on pace this year, but the guy is a master at overtaking and keeping his nose clean.

      1. hats off to Kimi as well for leaving room for Ric in that chicane. Ric was really impressive today.

        1. Yep Kimi is getting better each race at it…..

        2. +1 to this. I doubt he would have tried exactly that move on a less experienced driver. That was good clean racing between him and Kimi.

    2. Great drive from RIC today!!

    3. He’s great, no doubt. Hope he become a WDC one day.

    4. He has a knack for keeping his nose clean although i’m genuinely surprised since he likes the late lunge into corners. Hats off; VER maybe the quicker driver but RIC is banking points and podiums…

      1. VER is absolutely the quicker driver over one lap; and in the wet. But over a race (or a season for that matter); RIC gets the job done.

        It was interesting his comments recently about all of Max’s failures and the way they treat their cars. He was joking that he treats his car with much more care (the interview is quite amusing), but there’s probably an element of truth to it. In addition to keeping his nose clean as you say – from a team perspective he’s much more valuable.

        Not to mention his marketability from a sponsor POV – always smiling, people love him. People (myself included) will watch anything he’s featured in – including ads.

        1. Pretty much sums it up, VER needs to take more care, especially lap 1 – 10 and choose his moments on track. He’s been unlucky with DNF’s this season so when his car is working to expectation he needs to make sure he finishes higher.

          If his team mate can be further behind and can get through the race and overtake a Ferrari and he knows he is quicker, he should really be kicking himself

    5. F1, is not about the passes, starting grid position, its about scoring points, Riccardo is distroying the clumsy teenager. DFS considered.

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