Ricciardo buoyed by getting close to podium

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F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

Red Bull Racing lacked the dry weather pace to challenge for the podium and eventually finished 4th and 5th, with Daniel Ricciardo leading the duo to the finish.

Daniel Ricciardo, 4th: “I started on the dirty side of the grid and had quite a poor getaway; I was spinning up on the line a bit too long and lost the two places. From then on however, I thought the race was good! With Seb, we were racing and you always want to hold on to your position, but the team radioed and he let me through. I did what I could after each stop and we improved the car; at the end I was doing all I could to catch Alonso and I think we got to within a couple of seconds of him as we went over the line. It’s going well with the team, I feel comfortable here and I did the best I could today. I really want that podium and we’re getting close!”

Sebastian Vettel, 5th: “I moved over for Daniel once I knew that we were on different strategies. When I was first asked, I didn’t understand as we were on the same tyre, unlike in Bahrain, so I double checked. When the team said we were on a different strategy, I moved over and then, as the race went on, I saw more and more that I didn’t have the pace. There was no point in holding Dan back. I’m not yet where I want to be with the car, but it’s an on-going process; hopefully at the next few races we will make some more steps in the right direction. Our weakness isn’t in the corners, but on the straights. The first stint today was okay but after that I’m not sure what happened.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal: “I think the wet conditions in qualifying yesterday helped us get higher starting positions up the grid. In today’s dry race, ultimately fourth and fifth is realistically where we were this weekend. Mercedes again were particularly strong and Ferrari carried their form through from Friday into a dry race today. Sebastian made a great start, but then appeared to go through the tyres quicker than Daniel and, after the second stop, it was apparent Seb’s degradation was particularly worse than Daniel, so we looked at switching him to a three-stop and therefore released Daniel who was very much focused on a two-stop at that point. Thereafter Daniel was able to close the gap to Alonso, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough to get onto the podium today. Fourth and fifth is still a solid result with good points. Heading back to Europe we know we have a lot of work to do.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault: “Again a race where both drivers had to work a lot to stay close to the front. Seb had a decent start but nevertheless had to fight against Alonso, while Daniel had an issue on his start but was able to make his way back to the front. A step has been made in terms of energy management compared to Sakhir, but it’s obviously not enough to come back to where Red Bull has to be. A lot of work is on-going at Viry to be at the top of the energy balance and trade-offs between the ICE and the ERS and we are looking forward to running at Barcelona to extract even more from the power units.”


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