STR haul gives Renault Abu Dhabi motivation - Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo says Toro Rosso’s strong result in Brazil gives Renault “something to fight for” at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend.
Renault entered 2019 hoping to build upon last year’s fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship and close the gap to Formula 1’s top three, but has slipped back.
Carlos Sainz Jr.’s podium in Brazil sealed fourth overall for McLaren while Toro Rosso’s runner-up position gave it a haul of points that means Renault’s fifth spot is under renewed threat.
Renault will head to Abu Dhabi just six points clear of Toro Rosso.
“I’d love it to be us than them, but I like it, it keeps pressure on us for that last race,” said Ricciardo.
“It won’t allow us to rest, and it gives us something to fight for in Abu Dhabi. It is a track that I really enjoy. I’ve always gone well there. so ready to go.
“Abu Dhabi, Carlos had a mega race last year [for Renault], so I’ll take that and we will go there with some positives.”
Ricciardo finished in sixth place in Brazil after recovering from a time penalty for clashing with Kevin Magnussen early on.
“I hit him and he spun,” said Ricciardo. “Always when the car on the inside hits the guy on the outside and he spins, you can expect a penalty – whether it was tight or not – I definitely tried to avoid it.
“I got on to the inside kerb to create as much space as possible. Coming off the kerb I skipped into him. As soon as I hit him, I was like please don’t spin, and he spun and I was like fuck.
“I didn’t want that. Not nice for him, it does not make me look the best, and I knew the risk of a penalty, front nose damage. That part of the race was tricky.
“Ultimately the Medium [tyre] was tricky at start. We didn’t expect to struggle that much with it. So it was already a difficult race in the opening laps.
“But from that point on we made a very good race. If we eliminate the first 10 laps, the rest of our race was close to perfect.”