Daniel Ricciardo describes the Spanish Grand Prix as his “best weekend so far” after finishing sixth at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, out-performing his team-mate for the first time this season.
Ricciardo hasn’t hit the ground running since joining McLaren F1 Team, scoring just sixteen points in his opening two races, twenty points less than Lando Norris at the time. However, the Australian looked to have made progress in Barcelona, qualifying in seventh before finishing sixth at the Spanish Grand Prix.
He managed to jump Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Sergio Perez at the beginning, holding off the Red Bull Racing driver for the majority of the race until the Mexican’s overall speed advantage kicked in.
Despite losing a spot to Pérez, the Australian kept a fair margin between himself and Sainz, as he drove to a sixth-place finish. Ricciardo was rather pleased with the result and described it as a ‘good weekend’, but warns Ferrari had a little bit more than McLaren in the race.
“It was a good weekend. I would say the best weekend so far as a whole and I felt like I got the maximum out of the car today.” Ricciardo said.
“I was defending the whole time! We jumped a few spots at the start and I think naturally those cars were a little quicker, which left me defending. It meant that the pace was high, and it forced me to push the whole way. I ended up learning even more about the car.
“We’re obviously competitive for points, but we just need that little extra step. Ferrari had a bit more than us today and obviously we know the Red Bull is fast.
“We know we’ve still got some work to do but all-in-all it was a smooth, well-executed weekend. The team made some good calls for the pit-stops and I think top-six was the best result possible.”
Lando Norris – ‘”Tough race! It was expected really”
On the other side of McLaren garage, Norris produced one of his worst result of the season so far, but still finishing eighth, showing the enormous progress of the British driver.
It was a difficult qualifying for Norris, which ultimately stemmed into the race, as he struggled to make any ground on Ferrari’s Sainz in seventh and had to settle for eighth, losing his first team-mate battle of the season.
Norris explains the difficulty of overtaking on this track made it a ‘tough’ race but says the team had a decent pace throughout the day.
“Tough race! It was expected really, just because it’s so difficult to overtake.
“Despite that I think we achieved everything we could. On paper it’s not as strong a result as we’d like, but I don’t think that really matters today – we had decent pace all day.
“Given the characteristics of this track we did what we could, and that was P8 and double points, so I’m happy for the team.”