Daniel Ricciardo has picked up another top 10 finish in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with the West Australian securing sixth place during one of the most memorable races in recent history.
In an incredible Italian Grand Prix, Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly claimed his first ever Formula 1 win. In one of the most different looking podiums in the sport’s recent history, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz finished second, while Racing Point’s Lance Stroll crossed the line third.
For Ricciardo, the Aussie put in a strong performance to finish in between both Mercedes cars in sixth.
Starting from eighth, Ricciardo had a solid opening stint and found himself as high as fifth before a safety car period shuffled the grid and ultimately decided the race.
With the pit lane closed at the start of the safety car period due to the location of a broken down Haas, Championship leader Lewis Hamilton made the mistake of entering the pits, resulting in a stop/go penalty which eventually sent him to the rear of the grid.
The race was red flagged shortly after the initial safety car period, with Charles Leclerc hitting tyre barriers at high speed shortly after the track was cleared. After some time, a second standing start took place with plenty of action throughout the field.
While Hamilton led from the second race start, he then quickly took his penalty in pit lane and Gasly happily took the race lead and didn’t give it up, despite a strong charge by Sainz in second.
Ricciardo eventually climbed to sixth place but was unable to pass a stubborn Valtteri Bottas, leaving him a little disappointed with the overall result but positive on his performance.
“Sixth isn’t bad for us today, I felt I couldn’t have done anymore in the situation,” Ricciardo said.
“We weren’t the only ones, but the safety car and red flag did not go our way today. After a good start and good pace, the timing wasn’t on our side, but that’s something we can’t change.
“I’m convinced there will be another race like this this year, another chaotic one, and we’ll get the better end of it.”
As for race winner Gasly, it was a day he would never forget as he became the first driver outside Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari to win a race since the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.
“Honestly it’s unbelievable,” Gasly said post-race.
“It was such a crazy race and we capitalised on it. I’ve been through so much in 18 months, I struggle to realise this.
“I’ve got no words. This team has done so much for me, now they’re giving me my first win.
“It’s an amazing day. It’s been so long since another French winner. I never expected but this, I’m so happy.”
The FIA Formula 1 World Championship stays in Italy this weekend with the Tuscan Grand Prix to take place at Mugello Circuit.