Daniel Ricciardo’s weekend in Barcelona never lived up to expectations as Renault suffered its worst result of the year, failing to pick up any points at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton broke Michael Schumacher’s record for the most podium finishes in F1 as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (second) and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (third) rounded out the top three.
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Ricciardo’s underwhelming qualifying, which saw him eliminated in Q2, meant he started 13th on the grid for the main event and though he was able to work his way up to 11th, the Aussie was never in the hunt — and he knew it.
“Having raced around here a few times, it’s one of those ones where I can see that I’m catching the top 10, I can see the battle for points is right in front of me,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports.
“I know I’m closing but deep down I know they (his rivals) need to make a mistake to pass. Even if you have a few more tenths a lap, passing is so tricky around here and once you get close, you hurt the tyres more.
“I pushed to the end and stayed optimistic that something could happen but deep down I knew unless they made a mistake, it’s probably going to stay as it is. It’s one of those ones where I think everyone knows this track so well, it is hard to pass and once you get in a DRS train, it is tricky.
“We got close but it’s always a bit of a shame when you come close but it’s not close enough.”
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Ricciardo had a rough weekend.Source:AFP
Speaking to Renault’s website, Ricciardo added the team was hoping for more but failed to deliver as teammate Esteban Ocon also finished down the pecking order in 13th.
“It was tough today and certainly not where we want to be,” Ricciardo said. “At every race up until now, we’ve had at least one car in the points, so this is the first one without it.
“It was a pretty difficult race and making the one-stop (pit strategy) work was difficult. Obviously, it’s a bit disappointing as we came here expecting much more, especially after two decent races last time out.
“We didn’t expect to have a difficult weekend, but it was very tight out there. We were close to the top 10 in qualifying and in the race, so we’ll try and find out where we lost those couple of tenths and move on to the next race.”
Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul said being off the pace by such a slim margin was “not an excuse” and knows improvements are needed if the team wants to be a serious challenger in the midfield.
“We should be at a point where we could be doing better than that,” Abiteboul said. “We have a clear area of focus and we will be pushing to accelerate the next upgrades on the car.”
Renault is languishing in sixth in the constructors’ standings while Ricciardo (10th) and Ocon (12th) are also struggling in the drivers’ championship.
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