After a chaotic final few laps, Renault DP World F1 Team’s day went from good to great at the British Grand Prix as Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon finished fourth and sixth respectively to bring home plenty of points to the French outfit.
Both Ricciardo and Ocon fought hard in a close battle all race long with McLaren F1 Team drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr., as well as Lance Stroll of BWT Racing Point F1 Team.
A great start by Ricciardo saw him up from eighth to sixth on the first lap, as Ocon held onto ninth place after an impressive start of his own.
Under the second safety car, the team were able to efficiently double stack both cars and service them on the same lap. Both drivers took the hard tyres from lap 12 to the end of the race.
Benefiting from the misfortunes of Sainz and Valterri Bottas, who both suffered punctures to their left front tyres in the final laps of the race, as well as showing strong race pace of their own meant that the team was able to bring home a bounty of 20 points.
Ricciardo’s fourth place finish matches his best with Renault, having also finished fourth at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix.
After the race, the “Honey Badger” talked about his thrilling battle with the McLarens, and praised the car’s pace from start to finish.
“It was a crazy race at the end, and it feels really cool to take fourth place,” Ricciardo said in a press release.
“We made a good start, jumped up to sixth and we showed decent pace. At the safety car restart I was close to Carlos [Sainz] but didn’t have enough and that allowed Lando [Norris] to have a run on me and I missed out there. That was a bit frustrating, but it came back to us at the end.
“The race really came alive and that was really good. We had some pace at the end and I was able to get Lando and then Carlos had a problem. I saw Charles [Leclerc] getting closer and maybe with a couple more laps we could have had a podium!
“We have another chance next week. We were assisted by some chaos, but we were definitely a top six car today and that’s pleasing.”
Esteban Ocon also recorded his best finish with Renault so far after his sixth place finish. This was also his best finish since the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix.
Ocon praised the work of the team to come back from a disappointing 14th place finish by the Frenchman at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“I’m very happy with today’s team result. It was very fun out there, lots of overtaking, lots of fun battles and a fantastic result to finish it off,” Ocon said.
“I think today shows how quick our car is in the race. It really felt awesome today and it was a strong performance from the team. It’s a credit to everyone at Enstone and Viry for their hard work between Budapest and this race.
“We had a lot of discussions, and that’s really paid off today. It proves that we need to qualify further up to make our life easier on Sunday. We have another opportunity next week for more.”
Much like his drivers, Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul was singing the praises of his team. However, he also stated that the race gave them valuable data on how to improve moving forward.
“It was a very good result from a team perspective and one of our strongest since our return to Formula 1,” Abiteboul said.
“Clearly, there was a bit of help towards the end to gain positions, but that should not take away from the very strong performance that the team has put in throughout the weekend. We had a decent Friday practice and that meant both good preparation for qualifying with both cars in the top ten as well as critical learning about making the Hard tyre last in the race.
“Today, both drivers had a strong opening lap to have track position and then we decided to stop both cars for Hards under the safety car, which the pit crew did an excellent job on. We also had strong reliability and that’s so important when we have eventful races like this one.
“After tracks where the car struggled, Silverstone’s layout confirmed the strengths and weaknesses of the car. In particular we must keep working on high-speed corners as that’s our weakness compared to direct rivals. We have made progress but we should not lose sight of our direct competitors nor of the competitiveness level of Mercedes in all circumstances.”
While the team may be celebrating now, they will be looking to repeat or even improve upon this result as they return to Silverstone for next weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.