Daniel Ricciardo equalled his best result of the 2020 Formula 1® season on Sunday, giving the Aussie a welcome confidence boost for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo finished fourth at the Belgian Grand Prix – and secured an extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race – on a successful outing for Renault in Spa.
Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon crossed the line in fifth place, giving Renault their best points haul – 23 in total – from a Grand Prix weekend since returning to the sport in 2016.
The Safety Car was deployed early in the race, following a crash between Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and George Russell (Williams), prompting both Renault cars to switch to one-stop strategies.
Ricciardo managed his tyres expertly until the end, sensationally posting his fastest time on the last lap of the race as he closed in on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The race was won by Lewis Hamilton, who cruised to victory ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen.
“What a race and definitely an excellent result for the team,” Ricciardo said. “We had a lot of pace today and fourth is a strong result.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had the fastest lap of the race, so that was also nice. My engineer told me what the current fastest was and I thought, ‘I got this!’
“It was a proper big lap; I used all the track and went for it. Maybe it was better than my qualifying lap yesterday!
“This was a good track for us last year and Monza was even better. We’ll see what happens, but we can go there with a lot of confidence.”
Ricciardo returns to racing on 4-6 September at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, where he also finished fourth last year and hopes to be in podium contention again.