Motorsport

Ricciardo leads Red Bull recovery charge

2017-09-03 18:24
Daniel Ricciardo (AP)

Monza - Daniel Ricciardo said he was "wearing blinkers" when he produced the boldest passing move of the race on Sunday as he led Red Bull's charge through the field in the Italian Grand Prix.

The Australian started from 16th on the grid after incurring penalties, but he soon began climbing - while team-mate Max Verstappen did the same despite an early puncture.

After his only pit-stop, he regained fourth place with a daring pass of Finn Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari at the Rettifilo chicane where he attacked down the inside.

He then stormed after third-placed Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari, but was unable to claim a podium finish.

He praised Raikkonen for giving him the space to complete his passing move.

"I'll give (Raikkonen) the credit and say he raced clean and fair, but I would have done it on anyone to be honest!" he said.

"When you're coming through the field and you've got all that momentum, it doesn't matter who you're coming up against.

"I was aware that the deeper I got towards the front the harder the overtake would be, because normally they're going quicker, so the speed difference is normally not as much.

"I had blinkers on for that move and was happy to pull it off."

He added: "We were chasing a podium after that and at one stage we were catching Seb at about a second per lap and at that rate we would have caught him by the last lap, but I think he was able to turn it up a bit."

Verstappen, who started 13th after penalties had deprived him of a front-row spot, salvaged a point by finishing 10th despite a puncture following an early collision with Brazilian Felipe Massa.

"My race was basically finished after three laps," said the Dutchman. "You are playing catch-up. We were on the soft to start and then I punctured that tyre, so I had to do a two-stop, which was a bit of a shame.

"But what can you do? I still did quite a decent race, so I was pretty happy about that."

Team chief Christian Horner compared Ricciardo's overtake of Raikkonen to those of 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell. "It was Mansell-esque," he said.

The beaming Ricciardo, encouraged by Red Bull's speed after taking their penalties for unscheduled power unit changes, said: "I think we will lap the field in Singapore - so we will look forward to that!"

Read more on:    f1  |  daniel ricciardo  |  kimi raikkonen  |  motorsport
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