Rear suspension fix facilitated Japanese GP recovery – Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo outlined that a rear suspension fix aided his recovery to sixth at Formula 1’s Japanese Grand Prix, labelling it as a “result that we deserve.”
Renault struggled for pure pace through practice and its woes continued into qualifying, as Ricciardo dropped out in Q1 for only the second time this season.
But he carved his way forward in the race and, having been waved past by team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, overhauled Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly to take seventh, which became sixth in the wake of Charles Leclerc’s penalties.
“I was really frustrated in the morning, disappointed, and I felt something wasn’t right with the car,” he said.
“It was a lot windier so I was expecting the car to move around a bit, but there was something fundamentally wrong.
“I jumped out during the session; the boys tried to fix it. We had a problem with the rear suspension of the car. That explained the poor performance [in qualifying].
“We must have good speed, good momentum, and key the strategy was good – the Medium and then the Soft.
“Also key was really attacking as soon as I sight the cars in front. It sounds simple – try and pass them as soon as you can.
“But being able to do it and not sit behind them for too long, especially in the first sector, and hurt the tyres, that really allowed me to keep the momentum going and go through cars without damaging the tires too much.
“That was key for the race. We attacked in the right places and were smart about it. Had pretty good straight-line speed which helped us out.”
It marked a return to the points for Ricciardo after a lowly P14 in Singapore and a precautionary exit after a first-lap collision in Russia.
“[After qualifying] I was thinking – same kind of crap, we can’t get a break with issues and whatever,” he said.
“But yeah, a few hours later I feel that we finally got a result that we deserve.
“Hopefully now we can get a string of – we have back-to-backs coming up – some fun ones, so hopefully we get a string of points finishes. And try to get something with the team.
“I feel like we get there and then we drop, the heads drop a bit and we are trying to get back up. So just for everyone’s sake trying to keep some positive feeling before the year is out.”