Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

Ricciardo: fourth place ‘one of the best races of my life’

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo says his comeback drive to fourth in the Chinese Grand Prix after an early tyre failure was ‘probably one of the best races of my life’.

Ricciardo led the opening laps of the race after leaping in front of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes at the start. But a sudden left-rear tyre failure along the long back straight on lap four after an apparent puncture left him at the back of the field.

“I did see there were some incidents on the first lap,” says Ricciardo.

“Coming around the second lap, I remember there was a bit of debris here and there, but it didn’t seem like there was one big bit that I caught or anything, so let’s say it was still unexpected.

“But coming through turns 11 and 12 before the long back straight I could feel the rear starting to slide, so I came on the radio straight away and said ‘I think the rears are finished, the tyres are gone’. But it came really suddenly, so in the back of my mind I suspected something.

“As soon as I got on the straight, I could feel the tyre start to wobble and as I looked in the mirror the tyre went.”

The resulting safety car compromised Ricciardo’s afternoon further by allowing the rest of the field to pit for new tyres without as heavy time loss.

“The safety car put us even further back, so it was like a double whammy which felt like getting punched in the stomach by a heavyweight,” Ricciardo says.

After the race resumed, Ricciardo battled his way through the field, pulling off some skillful overtaking moves to cross the line a remarkable fourth.

“The second half of the race I did probably one of the best races of my life,” Ricciardo says.

“It’s really promising, for sure. Three races in and every weekend we’ve shown a strength at some point. It’s been a strength we didn’t feel like we’d have at this point of the year.

“It definitely feels more like 2014 where we do have potential. Obviously today I feel I would’ve been spraying champagne, but part of me is smiling inside ‘cause I know that can happen more times this year and it’s not going to be the last opportunity. I’ll keep fighting.”

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 40 comments on “Ricciardo: fourth place ‘one of the best races of my life’”

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      17th April 2016, 10:29

      He’s been absolutely mighty this season, hope Red Bull can develop the car to give him a chance to fight for wins.

      1. Nothing wrong with RedBull chassis, its the engine that needs to develop. RB would eat Mercedes if they were having similar engines.

        Next year would be interesting if Honda engine is competitive, it should be a 4 way battle for constructors.

        1. No! He had a luckier race than Dan, not a better race.

      2. sunny stivala
        17th April 2016, 12:58

        his team mate had a better race than his

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          17th April 2016, 21:22


        2. *luckier.

        3. “…his team mate had a better race than his…”

          On what Planet??

    2. Ricciardo is definitely the driver of the day, and possibly even driver of the season so far! He was very unlucky today and could have finished at least second. He deserved the podium more than all three drivers on the podium today.

      1. ‘All three’?

        1. Yes.

    3. So many great drives in the race. RIC did a great job.

    4. i like the idea that he thinks he’s smiling inside. he’s always smiling!

    5. Perspective people:
      * 3rd best car
      * Finished behind team mate
      * Finished ahead of 2 faster cars. Ham with car damage so no longer fastest car and Kimi.
      * Lucked into 2nd place on the grid due to both Ferraris making mistakes.
      * Yes had a puncture but it was very close to the pits so not much time lost
      * He needed to change the tires soon so not really compromised the strategy
      * Most of the time high speed tire failures result in floor damage or even suspension damage. Not for Ric.

      Yes he drove a good race but it wasn’t spectacular.

      1. Wow, you expect a driver with a puncture to finish in front of their team mate? I reckon he could have tried if he wanted too as well but not worth the team dramas for just a few points.

        “Lucked into 2nd place”?
        If you don’t make mistakes and your opponents do, that’s not luck. His team mate which you use as a yardstick in the race only qualified 6th. Big difference there…

        The driver himself reckons it felt like one of the best drives of his life, and you don’t call that spectacular? Pfft…

        1. To call it ‘one of the best races of my life’ I would expect he’d finish ahead of his team mate.
          His correct position on the grid would have been 4th, he isn’t in 2nd because of the pace he demonstrated.
          I’m not taking anything away from him, 4th is what the car is capable of and he did well to outqualify his team mate by 0.5sec. I value consistency too, perhaps not as much as you do.
          I’m sure Lewis comes out of this saying I did what I could with what I had and Vettel has his views on the first cornet incident.
          What am I now not allowed to have different opinion to them?

          1. he got a puncture taking him from 1st to 17th, kyvat had no problems and benefitted from ric problems by coming out in 2nd after the SC. how can you say he should have beat his team mate? i suppose he only lost around 8 seconds due to that puncture cos he only finished 6 sec behind kyvat after leading??? i respect you have your own opinion but it is a bit ludicrous if I’m honest.

            1. Ludicrous is a strong word for this situation.
              2 things we normally look for in a race driver: lap time (relative to car perf) and overtaking ability.
              16 cars Ric had in front of him consisted of: 2 faster cars, 1 same red bull car he has, 3 back markers and 10 midfield cars. At least 4 of those did not change tires so fallen behind Ric when they did. 2 faster cars and Kvyat remained at the front. This gives us 9 slower cars that completed the distance slower than Ric. And this is something we expect from all F1 drivers! Why is Ricardo special?

              Yes he had done his overtakes cleanly, many drivers can do that and should.
              Yes he drove quicker than his team mate, well done
              He didn’t overtake quicker cars
              He didn’t let himself get overtaken by a quicker car (Only Kimi behind), not sure I’ll give that to Ric though, probably Kimi’s fault for not getting close enough.

              All in all he did well…. and still not spectacular.

              Spectacular is when a driver + car package is overtaking quicker car or finishes ahead of the natural order. This did not happen today. On lap time alone he had not done better than Ros or Vet. Both were not pushing in the end.

          2. “I’m not taking anything away from him”
            Yes you are trying to take away accolades for his performance.

            Oh for sure, have an opinion, but it’s not a popular one, and deserves to be argued against.

          3. You can have an opinion. But your opinion is a ludicrous one. Ricciardo was driver of the day! Outstanding race craft, composure and pace which enabled him to recover to fourth!

      2. haha, this has to be a joke right????? he finished 6 seconds behind his team mate even with a puncture when he was leading the race(dropping him to 17th)?? not spectacular enough for you? for my curiosity who do you think did a better job today?

        1. Interesting how I give you so many arguments why I didn’t find his drive so impressive and still you think I’m joking?
          Having said all that he is my driver of the weekend. Ferraris crashed and qualified poorly. Rosberg was not pushed at all at any point of the weekend so hard to give him any achievements. Midfield was fairly ordinary. Gro was poor. Ham too much bad luck. Kvyat was good in the race although qualified not so well.

          1. Perspective people:
            * 3rd best car (YES PROBABLY)
            * Finished behind team mate (HE GOT A PUNCTURE WHEN HE WAS LEADING AND KYVAT HAS 3RD)
            * Finished ahead of 2 faster cars. Ham with car damage so no longer fastest car and Kimi. (HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RICS PERFORMANCE)
            * Lucked into 2nd place on the grid due to both Ferraris making mistakes.(BENEFITING FROM AN ENGINE FAILURE IS LUCK, DOING A BETTER TIME IS NOT)
            * Yes had a puncture but it was very close to the pits so not much time lost (YEP MUST HAVE ONLY BEEN A COUPLE OF SECONDS HE LOST HEY?)
            * He needed to change the tires soon so not really compromised the strategy (THE SUBSEQUENT SAFTEY CAR PUT RIC AT A FURTHER DISADVANTAGE)
            * Most of the time high speed tire failures result in floor damage or even suspension damage. Not for Ric. (YEP THATS A REASON HE DIDNT HAVE A GREAT RACE! MOST CARS THAT GET INVOLVED IN A FIRST LAP INCIDENT GET DAMAGE… NOT FOR KYVAT)

            Yes he drove a good race but it wasn’t spectacular

      3. Daniel was way faster than Kvyat during the whole race, his moves were spectacular especially the battle with Lewis. I don’t recall many drivers that can outbrake Lewis (last of late brakers) like he did and it was not the first time.
        In my opinion Daniel is a world class driver that i rate him along with the best (Vettel,Hamilton and Alonso), in qualifying he is very fast and in race condition he’s phenomenal, a mix between Vettel and Alonso.
        I will not be surprised to see him in Ferrari next year (unless he will be vetoed by Vettel….)

        1. “I will not be surprised to see him in Ferrari next year”

          He’s still under contract with Red Bull. And honestly he’d be mad to leave the master of the downforce teams with the 2017 regs coming up.

          1. if renault deliver the expected gains in canada he won’t be going anywhere.

        2. @tifoso1989 While it’s true Ricciardo is a good late breaker, but you need to look at the situation too. Lewis was in old medium versus Ricciardo in newer soft. It’s crazy to think Lewis even had a chance there.

          1. Not to mention a car which at some stages was over 2 sec a lap slower than Rosberg’s due to damage.
            How can anybody compare those overtakes on Lewis and ignore the elephant in the room?

          2. @sonicslv
            It’s true that Lewis didn’t have a chance against Daniel in his battle,but most of the drivers in that situation would play safe and wait until they have a clear shot. Dan on the other hand whenever he finds a gap he goes for it no matter who is the driver in front.

          3. Actually they were both on mediums tyres for the last stint. RIC’s was 7 laps newer than HAM.

          4. For the record, Ricciardo was also on mediums. You are grossly underestimated how good that move was. Ricciardo was on the dirtiest part of the track where there is no grip. It takes perfect application of the brakes, not to lock up and still make the apex. I know this having raced for years myself, it’s nothing like what you might find a PlayStation. Lewis may have hand a damaged car, but he was still defending the corner and his cars breaking performance still looked fairly reasonable.

      4. * 3rd best car
        – Yes third best car so the maximum 3rd best car should be 5th all things considered.

        * Finished behind team mate
        – After getting a puncture through no fault of his own, dropping down to 17th and then further disadvantaged when most people including his TEAM MATE got a free pit stop with the SC. Not to mention in his final stint he made up 11 seconds on his team-mate from 15s to 6s in about 20 laps. Also his team-mate was predominately in clean air the whole races vs. having to make his way through the pack.

        * Finished ahead of 2 faster cars. Ham with car damage so no longer fastest car and Kimi.
        – Would have probably finished ahead of Seb and Kvyat had he not had the puncture. Faster than both in the final stint. Made clean overtaking moves throughout the whole race.

        * Lucked into 2nd place on the grid due to both Ferraris making mistakes.
        – Smashed his team-mate in qualifying regardless of the Ferraris making mistakes. He did his laps under pressure which is a lot more that could be said of any other driver on the grid. If anything Kvyat lucked more into 2nd place for the race as a result of the Ferraris taking each other out, Hamilton being unlucky with his PU and DR getting a puncture. Any other normal race, he wouldn’t be anywhere near those other drivers.

        * Yes had a puncture but it was very close to the pits so not much time lost
        – As above, he lost it on the back straight where he had to let pretty much all the cars. Further disadvantaged by the SC.

        * He needed to change the tires soon so not really compromised the strategy
        – He was still compromised compared to everyone else, which meant longer stints on the other compounds. You need a new strategist.

        * Most of the time high speed tire failures result in floor damage or even suspension damage. Not for Ric.
        – What does this have to do with driving a brilliant race? floor damage or not.

        1. *Considering Ham did not have the equipment to fight up there he should have been 4th and he was, so like I was saying, not that extraordinary.
          *I never said he didn’t drive better than Kvyat, of course he did. I pointed out he was behind him at checkered flag. Had he gone ahead, it really would have been extraordinary achievement.
          *Probably finished 2nd? go speculate those kind of things elsewhere… we’re never going to agree on anything with this approach.
          *Is there a driver who’s not under pressure in quali. Or are you F1 psychotherapist and can evaluate how much pressure each driver overcomes every time they drive? In any case I give him credit for out-qualifying his teammate by as much as he did. The other 2 positions was luck that contributed to his result today.
          *Now you’re just lying that the whole field overtook him on the back straight. I looked at the replay, Kvyat overtook Ric on the penultimate corner, at the pit entrance he was side by side with Hul who was then in 5th place. So it was only 3 cars that have gone ahead (or 1 if we’re strictly speaking about the back straight), not ‘pretty much all the cars’.
          *Safety car helped Ricardo. He was 32sec after pitting, 18th in clean air. When SC left he was in 17th with tire advantage over at least 4 cars that didn’t stop. He was also only 10sec behind the leader at sector 2 of green period.
          So there you go, another lie you keep telling yourself to convince yourself how everything stacked against Ricardo and he still came out on top.
          * You sure I need a new strategist? He changed on lap 3, most of the field changed on lap 4 under safety car. What longer stints are you talking about?
          * When somebody drives from the back to podium it’s normally a sign of a great drive. However circumstances matter, and I was simply pointing out these circumstances.

      5. @ivan-vinitskyy Ricciardo had a puncture which put him almost at the back of the grid for god sake! How do you expect him to finish ahead of Kvyat? Ricciardo has been the best driver of the season so far and nobody else gets close.

        1. Kimi finished right behind him and he had a wing come off his car at the first corner same as Hamilton, why is Ricciardos more special than the others?
          It seems we are back to the myopic way people were looking at Grosjeans performance in the first 2 gps neglecting the Haas car performance.

    6. without puncture, he should have been 2nd today!

    7. Daniel drove a great race today. Probably would have finished 2nd.The only luck he had today was bad luck.Going from 1st to 18th.Controlled aggressive fight back,well done.

    8. Would love to see him in a Ferrari next season

      1. hope not, RedBull could be equal or faster than Ferrari next year, with all the 2017 regulation changes. Plus, the engine difference could be even smaller next year, as gains are harder to find for those ahead, like Mercedes or Ferrari, but easier for Renault to at least catch up.

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