Ricciardo surprised by late stage pace on hard tyres

Daniel Ricciardo was happy to deliver good points to Renault in Sunday’s British Grand Prix, with a P4 finish achieved in large part thanks to his R.S.20’s late stage pace on Pirelli’s hard tyre.

Ricciardo started his race on the soft compound but like the majority of the field, chose to change to the hard tyre during the second safety car period.

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The Aussie initially struggled on the white-rimmed rubber, but gradually increased his pace as the race unfolded to finish fourth and hot on the heels of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

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Asked if his car’s pace on the hard tyre in the final part of the 52-lap race had surprised him, Ricciardo said: “Towards the end it did, because on the restart, with the hard I struggled a lot with the front left tyre.

“Then in traffic it was getting worse and worse, so I thought we weren’t going to be fast with the hard tyre for that last part of the race, or the middle to the end.

“But then once I got in clear air, I was just able to push on it and it held up. I could see I was closing in on the McLarens a bit and it looked like they were closing in on Charles.

“We had pace, it was good. I saw actually that Charles was like 1.1s at the finish line in front, so quite close to a podium.

“It was a good race for the team as well – 4th and 6th – nice to get some big points. I know they’re happy and relieved so just a good one.”

Despite being focused on the job at hand in the closing stages of the race, Ricciardo was well aware of the drama that took place around the track.

“It was crazy, a lot of incidents with punctures,” he said. “Next week will be interesting with softer compounds.

“But I think it just forces us to do a two-stop and, yeah, maybe make it more exciting again.”

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