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GP Week : Issue 180
After a strong qualifying performance on Saturday, Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo managed a career-best result with a seventh- place finish. While the Australian racer finished Sunday’s race where he started, the 56 laps between lights out and chequered flag were a far more complex story than a quick glance at the results implies. Ricciardo’s first stint saw front wing damage as the result of a tussle with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg; once that damage had been attended to in the pits the time had come to duel with Romain Grosjean. “It’s a good combination result today: we ticked all the right boxes over the weekend and got a reward for it,” Ricciardo said. “My fast lap in Q2 yesterday definitely set it up – but as we saw in Bahrain last year, you can qualify as far up as you want but if you don’t nail the first race lap, the world can tumble down around your ears. Today starting from P7 I was relieved to not make a mess of it, and was just happy to hold my place. “I could see from the start the Mercedes were struggling with their tyres. It let me get a good run on Nico Rosberg – I actually clipped him with my wing though, and had to change my nose at the first stop. The guys did a good job with that and frankly – though this won’t happen too often – I think the damage was a good thing as it got me off the Option tyres at the right time.” Like the majority of those on the grid, Ricciardo’s ability to fight for position in the final stint was hampered by pit wall concerns about tyre degradation, preventing him from making a move on Felipe Massa ahead. Despite a race that saw collisions for both drivers – teammate Jean-Eric Vergne was T-boned by Mark Webber, but managed to finish the race – it was a strong performance that helped to validate paddpck chatter that the STR8 is a far stronger car than was first assumed. Ricciardo gets it done F1 >>> CHINA 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: