Daniel Ricciardo says he needed the kind of F1 Austrian GP he had with fights and points, to shake off some of the frustration he is having.
For Ricciardo, the F1 Styrian GP and Austrian GP were world apart. He qualified 13th and finished 13th in the former, where an early charge followed by a control issue set him back. He fought back but too little, too late, with no points against his name.
In the latter, he qualified 13th again and finished seventh, after an early charge for the second race in row, but this time it was different and there was no mechanical issues, which led to points scoring finish. It was something that Ricciardo wanted after three races.
“I feel a little better from qualifying,” said Ricciardo to TV media. “I am trying not to be too low and too high. Obviously, qualifying wasn’t fun but I took a lot more enjoyment from the race. It kept me busy the whole time. I had a good start and re-start, plus the defending was good too.”
After last week’s morale sapping weekend, a more spirited, confident drive was displayed from Ricciardo. It was not his best result this season, but the manner in which it was earned will surely help and lift his spirits.
“I think it is so…sometime we forget that it is not just racing, this can be any occupation, that in life, enjoyment is the biggest thing, because you get fulfillment and then you are able to do what you love to the best of your ability,” said Ricciardo.
“The results does get you down but in the race, I needed that, I just needed to have fun, even if the position somewhat didn’t mattered, it was just to go and get in some battles and fight. I think that was the important thing.”
Battles indeed, he had to fight with Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly and George Russell, as well, during the race. The manner in which Ricciardo fought and achieved, he reckons it will help going into Silverstone for what will be a different style of weekend.
“On Lap 1, I got a Ferrari and a Williams straight,” said Ricciardo. “It is obviously a bit easier to come through, once you start out of position, saying that, it is normally a mess because you are deep in the pack. In the race it went well, as did the first weekend on the first few laps, you can also get caught in the mess.
“I think this gives me an encouragement going into Sprint Qualifying, knowing that wherever I start the Saturday’s race, I can get through to a better place for Sunday’s race,” summed up Ricciardo, who was passed late by Sainz, which dropped him to seventh and his old tyres did not have enough legs to clear the penalised Perez.
McLaren F1 team boss, Seidl, was also very pleased with the Honey Badgers weekend. Advising that his weekend positives and the result was achieved from several mitigating factors, most notably the positivity Ricciardo took from the performance.
“Of course, it was a mix with the strategy,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net. “Some of the cars in front of us we could beat by strategy, by different tyre strategy, and also a bit the fact that I guess where Daniel started the race was not reflecting the performance he and the car can do.
“That’s why it was clear that the objective for the race was to move forward and score good points. As happy I am for the team, for Lando to score the podium, as happy I am for Daniel that he could pull off this race. He had a lot of pressure in the race, it was quite a busy one.
“But I think he showed a great performance and it was great to see. He scored an important seventh for us, important points for the constructors’ championship. And hopefully that gives him now good energy going into the next two weeks preparing then our home race in Silverstone,” summed up Seidl.
As at the top, the weekend for Ricciardo was massively different from the first weekend in Austria. A spirited drive to net good points for him and his team, where the Australian kept his Top 10 place in the standings, while McLaren eked out a gap to Ferrari.
The story was written by Neil Farrell
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