Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Mugello, 2020

Podium was possible without red flag, says Ricciardo

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Daniel Ricciardo admits he has mixed emotions about finishing fourth in the Tuscan Grand Prix having been in contention for the team’s first podium finish for nine years.

The Renault driver ran as high as second following the final restart at Mugello. But he was passed by Valtteri Bottas and Alexander Albon in the closing laps and ultimately crossed the line in fourth.

“I’m somewhere in the middle,” Ricciardo says. “I’m bouncing from happy and fulfilled to a little bit sad.

“The truth is it’s a bit like Monza last week. I think we put ourselves in the best position. We did all we could. And just at the very end, we didn’t have that last bit to hold onto the podium. But I think we were there.”

Ricciardo held third place before the second red flag stoppage. He believes he could have held onto the podium position had the race not been halted.

“Without the red flag I feel like we had good control on the medium tyres,” Ricciardo says.

“So maybe that was a better chance for us to hold onto third. But we’re getting close and to see happiness in the team, but also some some disappointment with a fourth place, that’s a good place to be. Everyone’s hungry.”

Renault have performed better on the low-downforce circuits this year. Ricciardo said he was encouraged by their form at Mugello, which demands a higher level of downforce.

“We might be a little sad we got so close to a podium today but when we step back and look at the performance it was a track we didn’t really expect to be particularly competitive on,” he explained.

“It’s a high downforce one, it’s one we’ve haven’t been particularly strong on. Barcelona – these style circuits aren’t on our strengths and we showed good progress on this style today. So I think that’s really encouraging. It gives us a bit of optimism coming towards some other high downforce circuits.”

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2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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23 comments on “Podium was possible without red flag, says Ricciardo”

  1. yes, I agree that he would probably have just ran in 3rd to the flag without that stoppage and the restart. Then again, he looked like being within a shot of gaining a place too.

    Overall, quite a good race from him.

  2. Question was maybe if Ricciardo would have reached the end without pitting wasn’t it?

    But yeah it feels like he was robbed a bit.

  3. Exactly my feeling. The second red flag wasn’t needed, the barriers weren’t structurally damaged and Stroll’s car could have been removed from behind them. It rather felt like a shot at faking the entertainment, the third standing start totally robbed the race of Grand Prix feeling and made it a sprint roulette.

    1. I don’t disagree that they could have possibly repaired the barrier under SC but they did need repairs – if a car hits the tyres at speed without the belt in front it will just separate them and find the concrete.

    2. I genuinely felt that the red flag was cos Massi was scared of another SC restart

      1. I doubt that – if he was that worried about it, surely the natural response is to pull in the safety car and implement an immediate VSC for a lap, then start?

        1. Will Jones, that’s far too sensible for F1.

    3. @Pironitheprovocateur Yes my feeling too, and it is worrisome. Before long this is the new norm, and soon reverse grid races. Just what we feared with American owners.

  4. Agreeing with Ricciardo and commenters before me – being very close to a podium on merit, a second race in a row, and missing out because of things happening to make fortune differently than it might have gone, seems like a definite improvement from Renault – puts them firmly at the front of the midfield (at least on these fast tracks).

    Bit like Sainz said last time out, great 2nd place, but he could have won that (and 2nd was on before the SC’s started there too, remember), McLaren and Renault both are clearly creeping up to the head of the midfield (sure, helped by Ferrari dropping out, but even so, both teams looking like they are on a good path).

  5. No, not on merit. It was a race of attrition. Don’t forget that.

    1. Well, he was totally there on merit since the only quicker car in front of him (Verstappen) was doomed even before the first corner and he beat Albon, Stroll and Perez fair and square. He lost it only after Albon was masivelly helped by the second (or third) restart.

      1. Yea definitely on merit. The attrition happened behind Ric. It’s been a good couple of races from Renault, accessing the ‘sweetspot’ in setup had paid dividends, bittersweet to see them unable to turn good pace into a podium. I bet Cyril is sweating the tattoo bet.

  6. We’ll see in the coming races

  7. So close! Hopefully for Danny Ric he will get that podium

  8. The Red Flag (after Stroll crashed) was completely unnecessary.

  9. Podium was possible if Ricciardo stayed at RBR.

    Ran from a fight with Verstappen.

    1. He ran from a fight with Horner. Who wrongly believed that Verstappen will one day be good enough to lead the team forward. Well maybe one day he will, but it’s taking longer than he must have anticipated.

    2. Lol you mean was tired of red bull favoring max. Even despite red bull heavily favoring max ricciardo was still able to outscore max

  10. There aren’t many other drivers on the grid who could have placed that Renault at 4th. Ricciardo was probably extremely aware that leaving Red Bull takes away a car that can fight for podiums regularly.

  11. Just the way he took Bottas at the restart and showed him how to defend against a slipstream (that Bottas didn’t seem to have even worked out in his head) was great.

  12. This is a dream and i know everyone would love to see MV in the same car as LH, but has DR fan i would love for him to be racing in VB’s car… Just to see what he is really made of, Merc on the outside looking in seem a fairer team than Redbull when it comes to favouring a driver.

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