Daniel Ricciardo believes that the Italian Grand Prix was damage limitation for Red Bull, as the Milton Keynes outfit were over a second off the pace in qualifying due to their power unit deficit.
While a fifth and sixth finish would have been the best result Red Bull could have hoped for, a fifth and seventh finish is a solid haul of points in a race where the team generally struggle.
“This was much of a damage limitation race for us, and in a perfect world fifth and sixth would have been that. We got fifth and seventh, so I think still as a team we can walk away here pretty happy,” Ricciardo said after the race.
“Obviously coming into especially the last few races we’ve finished on the podium so you always see hope now for a podium in every race but realistically we knew Ferrari was going to come into here with the edge on us, and we knew Williams and Force India would be strong so this was our objective and I got that. Just missed it yesterday but very determined to get it today.”
The Australian was one of the highlights of the race when he made a lunge down the inside of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas at the first chicane to secure fourth position in the race.
Ricciardo said that he made the choice to make a bold move on Bottas as he had a three-hour drive home and didn’t want to think about what could have been.
“I was a little way back. Out of the last corner I was like, it’s on – it’s on this lap. But I knew I was a long way back so I wasn’t convinced I would pull it off but once I did I was like, cool!
“DRS open, and just head tucked! Have a go, why not? I didn’t want to leave Sunday night thinking if only I’d tried this or that.
“I could see he saw in the mirrors, he could see that I was there. He’s normally pretty clean, Valtteri, he’s not known to be a dirty racer or anything so I knew if he knew I was aware that I was there he wasn’t going to turn in on me.
“I think we didn’t touch as far as I know, it was clean – so good fun! I was giggling in the car!”
While the Italian Grand Prix wasn’t the best circuit for Red Bull to challenge for a podium position, the next race in Singapore will offer the team’s best chance for a win since Monaco.
“Let’s start with a podium and hopefully a spot on the podium that makes me look taller than the other guys,” Ricciardo said when asked what his chances are in the race.
“The objective is to get some points back [on Ferrari] in Singapore. If we can do that then it’ll probably go back and forth for the rest of the season but I think we’ll be able to hang on if we can maximise the high downforce circuits.”
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