Ricciardo’s Miami GP sprint F1 result ‘nice to keep a few people quiet’

The 34-year-old Australian scored his best F1 result since the 2021 Russian Grand Prix for McLaren, gaining a spot from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez at the first corner but then dropping behind him five laps later shortly after a safety car restart.

After losing DRS on Perez, Ricciardo came under incessant pressure from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for the rest of the race but he held the Spaniard at bay for his best finish yet for the RB squad.

“Every big result feels like it’s a needed one,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1. “It’s a happy feeling, a powerful feeling. Also to back up qualifying, it was obviously great but to back it up over the course of a sprint race that’s even more satisfying.

“So it feels very good and it’s nice to also keep a few people quiet.”

When asked what’s made the difference to his form – his previous 2024 best being a 12th in Melbourne – eight-time grand prix winner Ricciardo pointed to two factors.

“We changed chassis in China and immediately, honestly, I felt something,” he said. “I felt like more feeling, a bit more confidence in what the car was going to give me.

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“It’s not that it was far off, but there was just something missing. Compared to Yuki [Tsunoda, his team-mate] at the start of the year, I could just feel like I wasn’t able to do what he was able to do in most, or a lot of the corners. I knew there was something there.

“I think there really was something with the chassis. Maybe the team still doesn’t think so. But I do. And then we had a floor upgrade here, and I think that’s helped us in the high speed.”

Read Also:

Speaking on the subject of Sainz’s pressure in the second half of the race, Ricciardo opted against conserving his tyres and risking losing race positions.

“I couldn’t breathe the whole race,” he quipped. “I figured I’ll try my best to keep them behind, and if the tyres go, then they go.

“I was like every lap I could defend, for me, that was like a pat on the back.

“So, I was just like, ‘stop it – let’s just go’. And if my tyres give up, then so be it. And they didn’t.”

Source link