Given its form at Spa and its drivers’ comfort with the car in low-drag specification, Renault should have been angling to put itself in a best-of-the-rest spot behind Mercedes at Monza.
(Sixth Not what Ricciardo expected) – That wouldn’t necessarily have meant victory given how crazily the race unfolded, but Renault should have been running higher up in the ‘on pure merit’ part of the grand prix and was rightly a bit underwhelmed to come away from this race with sixth and eighth places.
After all, its customer McLaren did rather better, and Renault has ‘mad race specialist’ Daniel Ricciardo on its books.
Renault star Daniel Ricciardo was left frustrated with the timing of the red flag during the Italian Grand Prix, but is determined to be ready for the next “chaotic” race.
The Australian started at Monza in seventh place but was lightning quick off the line, overtaking Max Verstappen and the struggling Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas by the end of the first lap.
“The start was sick, I could finally watch it. I think I took some grass. Fortunately, there was no potholes like there was in Melbourne,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1.
“Then I got Valtteri into Ascari on lap one, so we were up to fifth. Then hanging with Perez and holding off Valtteri in the first stint and then we got the safety car.”
A safety car was deployed after Kevin Magnussen suffered a mechanical failure, shortly followed by the session being red-flagged when Charles Leclerc smashed into the barriers at Parabolica.
With Lewis Hamilton heavily penalised and Max Verstappen retiring from the race, a very unlikely race winner emerged in Pierre Gasly for AlphaTauri.
He added: “Congrats to Pierre. Even if circumstances were in his favour today, still, having those restarts, red flags… it’s not easy.
“You’ve built up all this adrenaline, you cool yourself, then you try and get jacked up again. Mentally it’s really hard. It’s fun, I actually like it, but it is tough.
“For him to maintain that for his first win around a track that is an overtakeable-style circuit – congrats to him, he deserves it.”
Down in 10th at the restart, Ricciardo was frustrated as he had done so well to make up places at the start of the grand prix, but he was pleased with how he responded.
He concluded: “First thing was making sure the engineer told me Charles was okay, I saw he was pretty deep in the barriers. I didn’t want to complain too much and then he said he was okay so then I started showing a bit of frustration.
“But this is racing, man, this is circumstances. I think we recovered well, both starts we moved forward and I honestly did the best race I could. Sixth was what it was today.
“I’m convinced there will be another race like this this year, another chaotic one. We’ll get the better end of it.”
SIXTH NOT WHAT RICCIARDO EXPECTED SIXTH NOT WHAT RICCIARDO EXPECTED
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|Russia ||27 Sep|
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 15h30||Free practice 2|
|11h00 - 12h00||Free practice 3|
|14h00 - 15h00||Qualification|
|14h10 - 16h10||Race|