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“Needed it”: Ricciardo relieved with eighth after early penalty

Matt Clayton
Monday, 10 June 2024

A five-second sanction for a jump-start looked to have scuppered Daniel Ricciardo’s chance to end a Sunday points-scoring skid, but the RB driver recovered to eighth on a weekend where his pace and persistence were rewarded.

Daniel Ricciardo was as relieved as he was pleased to finally snap his Sunday points-scoring drought for 2024 in Canada, the RB driver finishing eighth after it looked like a season-best qualifying performance would count for little after a jump-start penalty had him on his back foot.

The Australian qualified a brilliant fifth on Saturday, just 0.178secs off George Russell’s pole lap for Mercedes, and took aim at Jacques Villeneuve in his post-session interviews after the 1997 world champion lit into Ricciardo on Sky Sports on Friday, questioning his place on the grid.


Ricciardo resisted the urge to use his best Grand Prix result of the year – he finished fourth in the Miami sprint race last month – as further fuel to the fire, choosing instead to focus on his recovery drive after his early penalty and being snookered after his opening pit stop.

“I won’t say anything else to the others, we’ll keep it quiet – but I’m happy,” he grinned when asked if the result was the perfect retort to his critics.

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“[It was] a little bit of a relief at the end to get back into the points – for a while we dropped out. There were a few reasons – I got told I had a five-second penalty for a jump start but I know I didn’t jump the lights, so I was bit confused and I obviously questioned it.

“But then I remembered that when I was finding the revs for the start, maybe the car was moving … we had a bit of an issue, perhaps a clutch or something.

“That obviously was a little bit of a backwards step, and then when we pitted for an inter [intermediate tyre] we lost a few positions for the cars that stayed out and then we weren’t really able to get much more out of that new inter, so the race was getting away from us.”

Ricciardo was 12th with 18 laps left, but gained two places when Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Alex Albon (Williams) crashed at Turn 6-7, Ricciardo narrowly missing the spinning duo as he moved to 10th as a safety car was called.

He then gained another place as RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda, ahead of Ricciardo after making one fewer pit stop, spun on lap 66, and elevated himself to eighth with four laps left after passing Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, another driver to one-stop after starting at the back of the field.

“As it dried towards the end, we were able to pick our way through a few cars, so happy to finish with four points,” Ricciardo said.

“It was never going to be perfect, these conditions are so hard for everyone, so we’ll obviously keep trying to clean it up. But in general, for a race like that we walked away with some points so all in all, a fairly good weekend from start to finish. I won’t complain. It was definitely a good one.

“These weekends are sometimes the hardest, especially when maybe things aren’t going too well or you’re lacking momentum. We had all conditions this weekend, so that was nice to start to finish, keep it on track, keep it steady and keep it smooth. We needed it, and I needed it.”

Ricciardo improved to 12th in the drivers’ standings with the result, demoting Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), who finished 11th and outside of the points in Montreal.

Daniel Ricciardo at the Canadian Grand Prix

Daniel's Canadian Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 5th
  • Race: 8th
  • Fastest lap: 1min 17.076secs (12th), lap 68
  • Points this event: 4
  • Points this season: 9 (12th in world championship)