After a manic Sakhir Grand Prix, Sergio Perez finally won his first Formula One race. Joining him on the podium were former teammate Esteban Ocon, and current teammate Lance Stroll. Behind the trio were McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Admittedly, the Australian driver felt that his race finish was bitter-sweet. This was because he seemed to be in the running for a podium or even a win, but the strategy did not go his way. In the end, Ricciardo was reduced to watching his teammate reap the benefits of a maiden podium.
5th for me seems ok on paper but yeah not the best executed race. Was pretty filthy but all good. One to go. Let’s close out 2020 strong as it has been and fuck this year right off 😆
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) December 7, 2020
With Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc out of commission and Mercedes in all sorts of trouble, the iron was hot. To make matters even better, Lewis Hamilton was down with COVID-19, so all Daniel Ricciardo and Renault needed to do was strike.
How did Daniel Ricciardo miss out on a podium?
The Renault F1 team squandered a podium shot when they called him in too late for his first stop. Apparently, he had already passed the pit lane entry when the call came. So, he was forced to complete an extra lap on old tires. As a result, AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat became even more threatening and successfully pulled off the undercut to leapfrog him.
“To be honest it was scrappy, it was a scrappy race from our side I felt,” Ricciardo admitted.
“I got called into the pits, I was already past the pit entry so I couldn’t pit and then Kvyat undercut us, so we gave him a freebie and spent that whole second sim behind him.”
Then came a case of horrible timing, when the team brought him in during a Virtual Safety Car (VSC). This was because the period ended just before he entered the pits. On the bright side, Kvyat and Carlos Sainz also suffered from similar fates.
Unfortunately, it did allow Perez, Ocon, and Stroll to get past them. So, when Mercedes bungled their own pit stop, the Racing Point duo and Ocon capitalized. Now, the Australian driver will have to look ahead to next week’s season finale at Abu Dhabi. Admittedly, the odds of a crazy race like this happening again are pretty slim.