Relieved Ricciardo finishes sixth in Canadian GP
DANIEL Ricciardo admitted a sense of relief had fallen over Renault after their first double-points haul of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix on Tuesday morning (AEST).
The Australian recorded his best finish since arriving at his new team at the start of the year in taking sixth, with teammate Nico Hulkenberg just behind him in seventh.
After qualifying in fourth - his best result for eight months - Ricciardo spent long periods of the race battling with the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Before the race he had set himself the mission of not being passed by a Red Bull, having qualified ahead of them and managed to keep Pierre Gasly behind him, but was eventually passed by Max Verstappen.
"To be honest, I'm pretty happy with that," Ricciardo said after the race. "From my starting position I knew the race was going to be more of a defence than an attack.
"I think in the end to beat one of them with sixth and seventh was strong. Probably the most positive thing was holding off Bottas for so long and just being in that fight with the Mercedes for a few laps. That was cool.
"I would have loved to have done it with Max as well but he was coming with too much pace at the end with that tyre so he got me very easily. I feel that we've bridged the gap a lot and it looks good."
Ricciardo held his sixth place despite late pressure from teammate Hulkenberg after Renault forbade the two drivers to race and ordered them to hold position to claim the team's first double-point haul of the season.
"He stayed out quite a bit longer at the beginning," Ricciardo said of the German. "We pitted to cover Gasly and then he was coming at the end.
"To be honest, I think stopping a bit earlier and fighting with Bottas definitely took a bit out of the tyres, but it looked like his pace was pretty strong all race. He was coming at the end but I just managed to stay in front.
"It's the first double points of the year, so it's been a long time coming. To get sixth and seventh is big and McLaren without points today is encouraging for us.
"We'll build on this. I'm glad the team is in a good place now - it's a bit of relief for everyone. It's been pretty stressful at times this year but I'm glad that we can enjoy a strong weekend here."
Lewis Hamilton won the race for Mercedes in controversial fashion, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel crossing the finish line first but copping a five-second penalty.
Hamilton's teammate Bottas finished fourth, with Ferrari's Vettel in second and Charles Leclerc third.