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Ricciardo: That was cool

NEWS STORY
11/06/2019

Let's face it, had it not been for that incident, there would have been little to talk about in terms of the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix.

The first three home were the first three from qualifying, and despite three DRS zones there were few memorable moves.

Thankfully, we had Daniel Ricciardo, who having given Renault its best qualifying result since Japan 2010 on Saturday, appeared to have forgotten that he was still in a yellow and black car next day as he battled with Mercedes Valtteri Bottas.

As they battled for fifth, a fight that the Australian couldn't possibly win, it was clear that someone had forgotten tell him.

At one point, even with the aid of DRS, as Bottas reeled in the Renault on the run to the final chicane, Ricciardo made life as difficult as possible for the Finn, causing him to back off.

Eventually however, Bottas made it stick, and though he was to eventually finish sixth, Ricciardo loved every minute of it.

"I think to be honest, I'm pretty, pretty happy with that," he told reporters. "I knew that from my starting position, I knew the race was probably going to be more of a defence than an attack. I think actually in the end, to beat one of them, was strong. Sixth and seventh was strong.

"The most positive thing was holding off Bottas for so long and just being in that fight with a Mercedes for a few laps, that was cool," he grinned. "I would have loved to done it with Max as well, but I think he was coming with too much pace at the end with that tyre, so he got me very easily.

"With Bottas, I think as well we showed that even when he had DRS we still had pretty good straightline speed and I feel there we've bridged the gap a lot. There's still a lot of work to do but it's certainly looking good.

"When he came up behind me I thought he was going to get me easily," he said off the Finn's initial attack. "I was going to defend one lap. If he got me I wasn't really going to fight to the edge, but I kind of held him off one lap then I kind of saw in my mirrors and thought maybe he'll start to hurt his tyres a bit.

"From that point on I was like 'let's have some fun'. I think I hurt my tyres a bit doing it, but it was worth it. I didn't think I'd hold him off for that many laps. By that point you could tell he was getting a bit agitated and I was just enjoying it, enjoying making life difficult."

Then there was his battle with teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

"I think he stayed out quite a bit longer at the beginning. I think we pitted to cover Gasly and then he was coming at the end. To be honest, I think stopping a bit earlier and fighting with Bottas I definitely took a bit out of the tyres. But it looked like his pace was pretty strong all race. He was coming at the end but I just managed to stay in front. That was good.

"It's the first double points of the year," he added. "It's been a long time coming and to get sixth and seventh is big, and to see, I guess, McLaren without points today from what I saw, it's encouraging for us.

"We'll build on this. I'm glad the team's in a good place now, it's a bit of relief for everyone. It's been pretty stressful at times this year but I'm glad we can enjoy a strong weekend here."

Asked about the soft tyres with which he started the race, he said: "Initially it was quite good. We certainly had a bit more pace in it, but because Gasly pitted the team wanted to cover him. I think we could have done a much longer stint but I guess the risk then was Gasly undercutting us.

"To be honest I expected to get a better start with the soft tyre compared to say the four on the medium, but as soon as I dropped the clutch I could feel I generated wheelspin and I actually thought I was going to get passed, but I guess the cars behind didn't make a great start either. I just managed to hold the position in fourth but in my head I was visioning passing Leclerc."

Looking ahead to the next race, his team's home race, where, according to Betting Sites, he and Nico Hulkenberg are both 750/1 to win, he said: "We're coming with a few parts for sure, but speaking with a few other drivers we're not the only team coming with some parts. We'll see.

"I think this weekend we just got to business, I mean it was just kind of smooth from the beginning. I think what's important is with France we don't put too much pressure on with it being France. We just focus on what we can do with our car and hopefully then the result will shine."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Montreal, here.

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1. Posted by DRAGON F1, 10/06/2019 21:07

"Well done Dan, you deserve a top result!! "

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