Daniel Ricciardo finished in third place in the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, being the first podium of Renault as an official team in the hybrid era of F1.
The Australian continued his summer momentum into the campaign, which saw him finish sixth or better in the last five races.
Partly thanks to the abandonment of Valtteri Bottas, As well as the appearance of the Safety Car at the closing of the event, the truth is that fortune was now on his side, which allowed him to climb to his first podium since Monaco, in 2018.
“It was going to be tight,” Ricciardo admitted, in relation to the fact that he would have kept third place if the neutralization had not appeared.
“I was trying to manage the tires a bit to have something at the end, but he (Sergio Pérez) it started to get closer, in a few laps, a second per lap (faster). So, I was trying to pick up the pace and not be vulnerable too soon. There was a discussion: Do we stop (for the second time) or not?
“But, I think if there was no Safety Car, I think we would have stayed out and tried to hold on, at least fight.
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“In that position we would have taken the risk. And it would have been very close.
This is Renault’s first podium since the Malaysian GP on April 10, 2011, when Nick Heidfeld, then replacement of the injured Robert Kubica, finished third.
The Gallic squad remains fifth in the constructors table, but six units behind the third (Racing Point).
In addition, since he was out of the points zone in Spain, Ricciardo has added 58 of his 78 points, which catapulted him from the tenth to the fourth box in the general classification, leading Pérez by 10 points.
Although he forgot to do it on the podium, Ricciardo took a few minutes to hold his “Shoey” celebration from his motorhome.
“It has been a huge, huge journey to get here and today is a milestone,” he said. Cyril Abiteboul, team manager. “We won that podium: we have seen it coming for some time. We had the potential to be there and today we had the right circumstances.
“While we may need events to happen up front, we have a car that is a good off-roader and when this kind of opportunity comes, we have the right team to capitalize on.”