Ricciardo Left Frustrated in Monaco after Safety Car Pit Stop Gamble Fails to Pay off

by Paul Hensby

Daniel Ricciardo was left frustrated by the outcome of the Monaco Grand Prix, with the Australian being forced to settle for ninth position having run inside the top five in the opening laps.

The Renault F1 Team driver had jumped from sixth to fifth at the start, getting the better of Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen, and was running in that fifth position when the safety car was deployed to clear the track of the debris caused by Charles Leclerc’s puncture.

Ricciardo and Renault made the gamble to pit immediately when that safety car was deployed on lap eleven, a decision that ultimately left him embroiled in the midfield fight thereafter as others ahead of him drew away having opted not to take the option of the pit stop.

The pace of the likes of Lando Norris and Kimi Räikkönen, both yet to stop, was just not quick enough for Ricciardo to regain his position on track once those who had not followed him into the pits made their own stops much later in the afternoon, with Carlos Sainz Jr., Daniil Kvyat, Alexander Albon and Romain Grosjean all able to jump ahead of him.

Running tenth on the road in the closing laps, thanks to a five-second time penalty for Grosjean for crossing the white line on the exit of the pit lane, the pace of Ricciardo enabled him to move up to ninth on the final lap, the duo ending just 0.140 seconds apart when results were confirmed.

 “It was a very frustrating race, to be honest,” said Ricciardo.  “We had a great start, jumped Kevin [Magnussen] on the outside for fifth and had a strong Turn 1.

“Then we pitted under the safety car, which is where we missed out.”

Ricciardo felt it could have been a much different afternoon had the cards Renault played gone their way, particularly as the pace of the R.S.19 was strong throughout the weekend at the Circuit de Monaco and warranted a better result.

“We definitely could have done better and got a great result as we had all the cards in our hand,” said the Australian.  “Although we missed some points, the car was very good even though we couldn’t always use the speed we had.

“We’ll look at what happened and address it for future races.”

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