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Ricciardo was ‘so close to the podium’ at manic Mugello


The Aussie charged through the field.

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo was cruelly denied his maiden Renault podium in a manic Tuscan Grand Prix that saw the race stopped twice at Mugello.

Ricciardo, who started from eighth on the grid, survived multiple race-disrupting incidents to charge through the field and settle into third place before a crash involving Racing Point’s Lance Stroll caused a second red flag.

The second standing restart saw Ricciardo climb up to second before he was caught by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, and then again by Red Bull Racing’s Alex Albon.

Ricciardo settled for fourth in the final laps of the race after being unable to keep up with Albon.

The Aussie’s valiant performance earned praise from F1® fans, who voted him as Driver of the Day.

“I’m really happy with today’s race and we’re so close to the podium again,” said Ricciardo.

“It was a long day, a long race with the stoppages and incidents, but the main thing is that all the drivers are OK.

“It looked like we were on for third towards the end of the race, so it’s a shame to come so close.

“We can’t get any closer than that and we’ll keep pushing. Our starts were good, we got Valtteri, but he and Alex were just too quick to hold on.

“It hurts not to be on the podium after that, but fourth is still a big result today.”

The race was won by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who traded the lead with Bottas after the first race restart – the Finn eventually finishing second, while Albon claimed his maiden F1® podium in third, making history as the first Thai driver to finish in the top three.

Ricciardo’s Renault teammate Esteban Ocon joined seven other drivers unable to finish the race, as he experienced a brake failure.

F1® returns to racing in a fortnight’s time for the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi on 25-27 September.