Renault DP World F1 Team carried on their strong Spa-Francorchamps weekend with twenty-three points, the largest amount the team have accumulated as a constructor in Formula 1.
Daniel Ricciardo finished the race in fourth and also managed to get the fastest lap of a time of 1:47:483 on the final lap – it was the first time Renault took the fastest lap in a Grand Prix since 2010!
The Australian driver was chasing down the front runners of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas(Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) in the dying stages. The front three were all having tyre issues and had to slow down, with Ricciardo crossing the finish line just under four seconds behind Verstappen, an impressive run after being seventeen seconds behind a few handful of laps before.
Ricciardo said: “What a race and definitely an excellent result for the team. We had a lot of pace today and fourth is a strong result. It’s been a while since I’ve had the fastest lap of the race, so that was also nice.
“My engineer told me what the current fastest was and I thought ‘I got this’! It was a proper big lap; I used all the track and went for it. Maybe it was better than my qualifying lap yesterday!
“This was a good track for us last year and Monza was even better. We’ll see what happens, but we can go there with a lot of confidence.”
Ocon comes out on top in his own personal battle
Esteban Ocon had a great race. He had spent a good part of the race in sixth position after Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Alexander Albon got the undercut on him when in the pits.
However, the Frenchman fought for his position and got it back with an excellent overtake on the last lap to get fifth.
“That fifth place was ours today, so I’m very happy to secure it on the last lap. It’s fantastic for the team to have fourth and fifth today, we’ve been quick all weekend and fighting with the top cars,” Ocon said. “The race was pretty solid, we got Albon at the start and then lost it at the pit-stop.
“The guys did a great job on the stop, so we’ll see where we missed out there. From there we had to keep working hard, close the gap and then find a pass at the end.
“It’s positive that the car is performing well at these tracks, so we can go to Monza feeling ready to go again.”
Abiteboul satisfied with his driver duo
Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul was full of praise for his drivers but is a bit wary if they can carry on this pace after lack of consistency in previous races.
He also took the time to remember Anthoine Hubert, who, as a Renault Sport Academy member, was tragically killed in a FIA Formula 2 accident at Spa-Francorchamps twelve months ago.
“Today’s result is dedicated to Anthoine Hubert who we think of on this particular weekend. We knew Spa would suit our package and there were big points at stake. We executed our plan all the way through the weekend,” stated Abiteboul.
“While we’re satisfied with today, we have to stay focused. It’s the same car that failed to be in the top ten in Barcelona and that shows a lack of consistency for competitiveness and improving this will have to be our priority.
“In addition to the strong finishing positions that brings us closer to the teams ahead in the championship, the fastest lap today by Daniel rounds off in style the result and I see that as a reward to everyone in Viry who has been working so hard for several years to get on top of the complexity of the power unit.
“We’ll celebrate a little bit to give us the energy to attack what’s coming next, but our focus is already on Monza and the milestone of the change to the qualifying mode that we must prepare with the highest possible care.”