Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo held on to his sixth straight points-scoring finish at the Portuguese Grand Prix, despite an early pit stop proving costly.
Ricciardo crossed the line in ninth place at the first Formula 1® race in Portugal for 24 years on Sunday, having been the first to box on Lap 14 to switch from soft to medium tyres.
His Renault teammate Esteban Ocon meanwhile was the last to stop, after 53 laps on medium tyres, which saw the Frenchman finish in P8.
While Ricciardo’s maiden Renault podium a fortnight ago at the Eifel Grand Prix rewarded the team’s impressive form in the second half of the 2020 season, it was a much tougher weekend at Portimao.
A spin in qualifying meant Ricciardo was unable to record a time in Q3, leaving him to start the race from 10th on the grid.
Cold temperatures on Sunday then proved difficult for many drivers, with Ricciardo’s grip levels consistently low on the unfamiliar surface amid light rain.
“It was a crazy start to the race, and we did manage to make up some places on the first lap moving up to eighth,” Ricciardo said.
“Once it settled, we struggled for grip on the softs and so we pitted quite early. We had the mediums on for a lengthy spell, so we had to spend a lot of the second stint managing the tyres.
“I never really had the tyres in the right window so I couldn’t push too hard. Eighth and ninth for the team isn’t a bad result so I think we’ll take that from this weekend.”
Ricciardo, who has finished outside the points just three times this season, remains fourth overall in the drivers’ standings.
The Portuguese Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton, who surpassed Michael Schumacher’s record with his 92nd victory, followed by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo returns to racing this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which takes place in Imola at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.