Aussie charger “Dan the man” looks back on another frustrating weekend at the British Grand Prix. A lonely drive left him behind team mate Max Verstappen, and off the podium.
Dani who stopped for tyres under green flag conditions, could only watch on as the two Mercs… team mate Max, and Sergio Perez all made their stops under the yellow of the virtual safety car. This opened up a gap to top three that prevented any tasty duels from developing.
“We lost our chance with the Virtual Safety Car,” said Ricciardo. “It just came out at an unfortunate time for me, and I think we lost 10 or more seconds behind the leaders, just with that.
“They had a free pit stop and were able to continue. It was just a bit frustrating.
“I would say things haven’t really gone in my favour the last while, but at the same time I don’t believe in luck or any of that crap.
“Hopefully coming to Budapest we can have a better one. I was probably more pissed off that the race was just a bit boring for me.
“I was alone for the most part, and again with that Virtual Safety Car putting me back there, it was like starting the race a long way behind the leaders. I was twiddling my thumbs for the most part.”
Once the race settled down, Daniel overtook Sergio Perez to take fourth showing the true pace of the car in the process. A late stop for fresh racing rubber was considered as there was a big enough gap to have covered the stop, but Daniel dismissed this: “Not really. We tried something similar in Austria. “The pace was still fairly constant at the time; we were around the 1m36-37s. Again we were just a bit unlucky at being put back at the beginning that we didn’t really have much to race for.”
Daniel also gave a thumbs up to race control for starting the race under the safety car at the start. “I think it was there or thereabouts, within a lap. You could always argue that it could come a lap early. Some parts of the track were pretty good, but others were really bad.
“There was so much spray, and being in fourth, towards the front. I can’t imagine, 12th or 15th place, the spray would have been massive.
“I think more for visibility it made sense. Even when we got started, into Turn 1 I saw nothing, so they made a pretty good call.”
The pressure is on Dani to respond to the surge of teenager Max Verstappen in the number 33 car. After a great start to the season with 3 consecutive 4th place finishes, a drop out from the points for the Russian round was then followed by the events of Barcelona. In Catalonia a win was denied on strategy grounds when Dani was leading the race, then further heartbreak followed at Monaco where a fluffed pit stop prevented an ‘odds on’ win. This was hard to take, as the aussie was on another level to those around him all weekend.
Team wise though the results have been strong, as Red Bull continue to hunt down the malfunctioning Ferrari team in the standings. However, it is the back to back podiums of Max that will stir the fire inside Dani. Budapest offers the opportunity for a strong result, and the chance to stamp his authority within the team… over his teammate.