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GP Week : Issue 201
Daniel Ricciardo was at last able to mount the F1 rostrum in the knowledge that the result would stick! While it is a milestone for the Aussie, the race also confirmed clearly the performance gap the previously pace-setting team has to bridge to finish any higher. Ricciardo’s race seemed destined to result in third, but it didn’t start as well as it could have: “Not exactly the start I wanted. I think initially the launch felt OK but we lost a bit of traction after that and Bottas got past me. The first stint I tried to hang in there, had, let’s say, a ‘pseudo-attempt ‘into Turn One – I got underneath him but it wasn’t deep enough to pull the move off (image, below ) – and then it was just about doing an undercut and just trying to still make a two -stop work. “So from then on a pretty lonely race. Unfortunately we’re not going to catch Mercedes. At least this weekend we weren’t going to, so a lonely third was not a bad result in the end. “Obviously Mercedes are the top dogs at the moment but we seem to be settling ourselves nicely in that next spot and I think we’ve just got to now try and somehow creep our way closer.” After a satisfying recovery from a disastrous Friday, and Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel understands the challenge ahread: “Mercedes is very strong – they have a phenomenal engine, two very good drivers, a very good car, and a very good team. They're doing a good job so it would be wrong to complain and moan about how dominant they are – they worked better than everyone else in the winter and deserve to be in that position. " Hopefully, from our point of view, rather sooner than later we'll give them a hard time – that's our motivation." At last, it's official! 28 GPWEEK.com // 28 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPAIN PARTNERS: