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Ricciardo returns to the points in Baku


The Australian was the leading McLaren driver.

Daniel Ricciardo has had his best race since Melbourne with an eighth-place finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver has been in the spotlight that intensified leading into Baku. His lack of performance since joining the team hasn’t gone to plan.

After he and teammate Lando Norris failed to make Q3 the day before, it looked like Ricciardo was going to have another tough race with McLaren lacking pace.

Norris and Ricciardo started the race on alternate strategies. Ricciardo started on the hard tyre compound and found himself behind Norris for much of the race’s early stages.

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Ricciardo was told to hold his position and not overtake Norris, who would be challenged by faster cars behind.

After several retirements, particularly from Ferrari-powered cars, Ricciardo and Norris found themselves in P8 and P9 with only five laps to go.

Ricciardo wasn’t able to overtake Fernando Alonso with Norris wanted the team to let him pass the Australian to have his own attempt.

The team returned the favour to Ricciardo and held Norris behind with the two McLaren’s remaining P8 and P9 through the chequered flag.

“I’m happy to have scored some points, obviously for the team and for myself – it’s been a while,” Ricciardo said after the race.

“It was an eventful race with split strategies, so at the beginning I was a bit quicker than Lando on the Hard tyre, and there were some team orders, and then at the end he was quicker on the Hard and there were further team orders.”

“Ultimately, I don’t think we were quick enough to challenge Fernando, as even if we got close on the straight, he was just so quick. So, obviously we’ve got to try and take a bit of drag out the car.”

“That was our Achilles’ heel here this weekend – but otherwise, I think we maximised our result. I’m happy to have had a smoother weekend.”

Drivers don’t need to wait long for their next race, with Formula 1® in Canada from 17-19 June.