British Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo had to settle for P5 at Silverstone, inheriting the position from teammate Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo had an inauspicious weekend at Silverstone. With Red Bull not quite on the pace of Ferrari & Mercedes, Ricciardo started from P6 after Max Verstappen went quicker than him in qualifying. Handed a lifeline at the start when the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen made contact, Ricciardo emerged from the mess in P4, still behind Verstappen.
However, Kimi Raikkonen quickly recovered and passed Ricciardo again with Daniel settling in to P5 as the race unfolded. He committed early to a two stop strategy and dived into the pits for a second time on Lap 30, just three laps before the first Safety Car. This scuppered any chance of making up any further ground, and also handed track position to the recovering Lewis Hamilton. While Ricciardo’s fresher tyres meant he was able to challenge the struggling Valtteri Bottas approaching the chequered flag, he wasn’t able to do anything about the Mercedes and finished P5, up a position when Max Verstappen retired with brake issues towards the end of the race.
“We just didn’t have the legs today.” said Ricciardo afterwards. “The first lap was fun and a bit crazy for sure, I don’t know what happened to Lewis but I saw he was turned around. Then with Max and Kimi we had some good battles. The re-starts were intense but we just didn’t have the speed on the straights to do much and behind Ferrari and Mercedes we were just too slow. I think the car in clear air was pretty good, particularly in the second stint on the medium tyre when we were able to pull away from Kimi a bit and then start catching Max.”
“The team then pulled the trigger on a two stop strategy for me and then the safety car came out. We just got unlucky and lost track position. We tried at the end to pass Bottas as he was struggling more with the tyres but as soon as I got really close to him I felt like my tyres were the same age as his, you just lose the downforce and really struggle. It was a bit like last week following Kimi and I really needed him to make a mistake, otherwise on the straights, even with DRS they have a lot more power.”
Since claiming a strong victory on the streets of Monte Carlo in May, Ricciardo’s results have been average, with Max Verstappen frequently ahead in qualifying and the race. Ricciardo says that he is looking forward to the short break before the German Grand Prix as he looks to reset his season:
“I guess since Monaco we haven’t really had things going our way. I’ll still take the Monaco win but I don’t want that to be the last hurrah. I’m very excited to have a week off now, I like racing but I’m just going to put the car away for a week, let it think about itself and then come back in Germany (laughs). I might feed it some Schnitzel in Germany, maybe I said something wrong to the car. But for now, vamos a la playa.”