Daniel Ricciardo’s stern phrases of willpower would have despatched a chill via the Renault crew storage.
With 14 laps remaining within the Tuscan Grand Prix on the Mugello Circuit, the Australian F1 driver was eyeing a maiden podium place with Renault.
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Following the second purple flag of the race, Ricciardo had steamed previous Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas into P2 — and solely British celebrity Lewis Hamilton was forward of him.
Sadly, his rivals’ automobiles proved their superiority within the closing phases. Ricciardo was overtaken by Bottas and Crimson Bull’s Alexander Albon, and completed the occasion in fourth.
It was an agonising conclusion to an enthralling contest, which featured a number of high-speed crashes — solely 12 automobiles crossed the end line, with eight drivers compelled to retire.
As a comfort prize, Ricciardo was voted Driver of the Day by the followers watching from residence, however the Aussie will know he missed the proper alternative to sink a shoey on the rostrum.
The inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix had a tumultuous start — two 2020 grand prix winners flew off the observe after a collision on the opening lap’s first nook.
Crimson Bull driver Max Verstappen and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly had been achieved for the day, and Ricciardo discovered himself in sixth place because the yellow flag emerged.
However the harm was removed from over — six laps later, a mammoth collision in the back of the pack resulted in a purple flag and an extra 5 automobiles out of the race.
After proceedings finally bought again underway from a standing begin, Ricciardo managed to overhaul Racing Level’s Sergio Perez on the 15th lap and leap into fifth place.
The West Australian quickly caught as much as Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc — who was struggling on the straights — and abruptly discovered himself in P4. Solely the 2 Mercedes drivers and Racing Level’s Lance Stroll had been forward of him.
Regardless of racing simply 1.1 seconds behind third-placed Stroll, Ricciardo was compelled to pit on the 28th lap and quickly slipped again right down to eighth.
However he abruptly discovered himself within the podium positions when his rivals went for his or her pit stops, with Stroll rising behind the Renault driver.
Nonetheless, Stroll and Albon had been each lower than six seconds behind the Australian, and had been rapidly gaining floor.
“It’s not achieved and dusted for the ultimate podium by any means,” former F1 driver Martin Brundle muttered on Sky Sports activities.
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Earlier this 12 months, Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul promised he would get a tattoo if Ricciardo secured a podium within the 2020 season.
With the Australian cruising in P3, Sky Sports activities commentator David Croft cheekily stated: “I’m simply Googling tattoo parlours close to Mugello … I’ve discovered half a dozen.”
On the 42nd lap, Racing Level’s Lance Stroll spun off the observe after receiving a puncture, however fortunately emerged unscathed from the scary incident.
One more reg flag was proven, and the drivers as soon as once more filed into their respective garages.
Regardless of Ricciardo’s spectacular overtake after the third standing begin, the automobiles of Bottas and Albon proved too highly effective within the finals phases of the race, breaking the guts of each Australian F1 fan.
Afterwards, Ricciardo admitted he was gutted to complete agonisingly near his first podium end since 2018.
“I’m smiling on the surface, however clearly there may be ache on the within,” Ricciardo instructed Sky Sports activities.
“We all know we had a terrific race; technique was superior, we undercut Stroll, begins had been nice, put ourselves there.
“With low gas and smooth tyres, (Albon’s) automobile got here alive a bit of extra within the final sector … after which he broke my DRS actually rapidly and I didn’t have a solution.
“We had top-five tempo all race, so it’s encouraging. It was definitely not a uninteresting race.”
Abiteboul had nothing however reward for Ricciardo, who climbs to seventh place on the drivers’ standings with 53 factors.
“He’s been completely improbable; he’s been sensible,” Abiteboul stated.
“(A podium) would have been a improbable reward for him and for the crew, however it’s going to come.
“We really feel that he’s constructing in confidence with the crew and with the automobile.”
Consideration now shifts to the Russian Grand Prix, which can happen in a fortnight on Sunday, September 27th.