A better day for Ricciardo with ‘fun’ Austrian GP
By Mat Coch
Monday 5th July, 2021 - 10:31am
Seventh place in the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix has left Daniel Ricciardo and his McLaren bosses pleased with his performance.
The Australian had started in 13th but quickly rose into the points on the opening lap before strategy assisted him to progress further up the order.
After starting on new set of medium compound tyres, Ricciardo ran as high as fifth for a time once the soft-shod runners ahead took to the lane for their first stops.
He then lost out to a recovering Sergio Perez in the latter stages and a charging Carlos Sainz to fall to seventh.
In a race that saw team-mate Lando Norris third, and disappointed to have missed out on second, the performance was a much-needed boost for the seven-time grand prix winner.
“It was a nice day for the team with a podium for Lando and getting into the points for me. That was good,” Ricciardo said.
“I just had a pretty fun race. It was busy, trying to attack and defend. It’s one I could enjoy and take some fulfilment from.
“The defence was tough. I was trying everything I could, every trick in the book to stay ahead.
“I think I held on as long as I could and Sainz was just a bit quick at the end with a fresher tyre – but I can’t complain with the race and the result.
“A better day,” he added.
“Happy to have finished the first triple-header of the season. As fun as the triple-headers are, they’re tiring.”
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl was also happy with Ricciardo’s recovery, a result he attributed partly to strategy and partly to his driver’s efforts.
“Some of the cars in front of us we could beat by strategy, by different tyre strategy, and also with the fact that I guess where Daniel started the race was not reflecting the performance he and the car can do,” the German said when asked by Speedcafe.com about his performance.
“That’s why it was also clear that the objective for today was to move forward and score good points.
“As happy as I am for the team for Lando to score the podium, [that’s how] happy I am for Daniel today that he could pull off this race. He had a lot of pressure.
“I think he showed a great performance and it’s great to see [he] scored an important P7 for us, important points for constructors’ championship.
“Probably that gives him now good energy going into the next two weeks preparing on our own home race in Silverstone.”
Seventh place netted Ricciardo six world championship points, boosting his personal tally to 40 and helping the team to 141.
He now sits eighth in the drivers’ championship, 20 points down on Carlos Sainz in seventh and one point clear of Pierre Gasly.
Team-mate Norris meanwhile is fourth, just three points shy of Sergio Perez for third.
Formula 1 takes a much needed week off before the British Grand Prix on July 16-19.