Ricciardo claims maiden Renault podium

Monday 12 October, 2020
Photo: Renault F1 Media
Daniel Ricciardo has secured his first Formula 1 podium for Renault after placing third in the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring overnight.
 
It had been a long time coming for the West Australian, who last stood on a F1 podium in May 2018 when he won the Monaco Grand Prix, after he put on a brilliant performance throughout the race to claim Renault’s first podium since 2011. 
 

Having started the race in sixth place, Ricciardo quickly moved into fifth within the first couple of corners and worked hard to grab fourth place from a stubborn Charles Leclerc during the opening stages of the race.

Once Ricciardo got past the Ferrari driver, he begun building a gap over the chasing pack and looked comfortable but still remained around 20 seconds behind third. Ricciardo's podium changes instantly grew when Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire from the race due to a power unit failure, promoting the Australia to third.

The Motorsport Australia ambassador was under threat from Racing Point's Sergio Perez, with the duo battling it it out for the podium's bottom step, but some good driving, smart strategy from Renault and a late safety car period helped Riccardo claim his best result for the French outfit.

“It’s been a while. It feels like the first podium all over again,” Ricciardo told Sky F1 post-race.
 
“It’s been two and a half years or something and the feeling is really nice. It’s fresh.
 

“Wow. So happy. To see everyone as well, we’ve all waited a long time for this so I think everyone is going to soak it up.”

In the battle for top honours, it was Lewis Hamilton who took out the historic victory ahead of Max Verstappen, with Hamilton winning his 91st career Formula 1 race, matching F1 legend Michael Schumacher’s record of the most F1 race wins in the process. 

"When you grow up watching someone you generally idolise them in terms of the quality of the driver they are but also what they are able to continuously do race on race, year on year, week on week," Hamilton said of equaling Schumacher’s record.

“There was a game called Grand Prix 2 and I remember playing as Michael and seeing his dominance for so long I don’t think anyone, especially me, didn’t imagine that I’d be anywhere near Michael in terms of records.

“So it’s an incredible honour and it’s going to take some time to get used to it.

“When I came into the pit lane that’s only when I realised I had equalled it, I hadn’t even computed it when I had crossed the line. I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team.

“A very big thank you and huge respect to Michael.”

With Ricciardo’s podium and Lando Norris and Alex Albon both failing to finish the race, the Australian now moves to fourth place in the outright F1 standings, while Renault is six points adrift of the third placed Racing Point in the Constructors' Standings.
 
The Formula 1 Championship now has a two-week break before heading to Algarve International Circuit in Portimão for the Portugal Grand Prix on 25 October.  
 
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