Ricciardo impresses with Suzuka top-10 finish

Daniel Ricciardo turned around a frustrating Sunday in Suzuka by claiming a top-10 finish with an inspired drive.

With Typhoon Hagibis causing a cancellation of all on-track activities on Saturday, qualifying was delayed until Sunday morning.

Ricciardo was unable to put together a strong qualifying lap, failing to make Q2 with a P16 result. 

His Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg was also hampered on Sunday morning, only just outpacing the Aussie in P15.

Despite the poor qualifying, Ricciardo made a trademark storm through the field in the race, managing several impressive overtakes on his way to a P7 finish.

Ricciardo was later promoted to P6 when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who crossed the line in sixth, was penalised 15 seconds for hitting Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the first lap and then not pitting for three laps despite damage to his wing spreading debris across the track.

“The team deserved this result today. We’ve been on a bit of a frustrating run recently without scoring, so to take seventh today is excellent,” Ricciardo said after the race.

“We had an issue in qualifying with the rear of the car that the boys fixed, which explained why we were quite far down. 

“We had good pace in the race and were coming through quite nicely. Starting on the medium tyre worked to our advantage and we came through the pack with some enjoyable battles. 

“It was nice to execute a good strategy, we pulled through and, in the end, it was a deserved and quite comfortable seventh place.”

The race was dominated by Mercedes’ Bottas, followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and championship leader Lewis Hamilton. 

Ricciardo returns to the track again next at the Mexican Grand Prix on 25-27 October.

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