Renault-powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing achieved its best result of the season in today’s Monaco Grand Prix. Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo raced to fourth and fifth positions round the Principality’s hallowed streets, even coming close a podium in the final laps.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz put a third Renault-powered car in the points with tenth, thereby securing Renault its most successful race result of the season so far. Team-mate Max Verstappen also starred in his Monaco debut, but retired following an incident with Romain Grosjean while fighting for tenth.
Key race points:
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo started from fourth with Daniil Kvyat fifth. The Russian got the jump on Ricciardo at the start and stayed close to the top three until the late pit stops. After the safety car was deployed on lap 65, Ricciardo reclaimed two positions, but ceded fourth place to Kvyat on the final lap.
Ricciardo held fifth until the first pit stop, but was undercut by Kimi Raikkonen to fall to sixth. A second stop under the safety car gave him improved grip and he took back the place from Raikkonen, and swiftly passed Kvyat. Ricciardo moved to within one second of a podium position two laps before the end but dropped to fifth behind Kvyat on the final lap.
Carlos Sainz finished in the points after starting from the pitlane following a post-qualifying penalty. On a track where overtaking is almost impossible, the Spaniard made it back into the top ten with bold moves and a clever early pit stop.
Max Verstappen had a dramatic Monaco debut. Second in Thursday practice, the young Dutchman qualified in ninth for his first race in the Principality. He graduated to eighth in the first ten laps, but a long first stop dropped him down the order. While fighting to regain a place in the points, Verstappen and Grosjean had a coming together through Sainte Devote, which put an end to the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver’s race.
Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations:
We arrived in Monaco focused on one thing; delivering consistent and reliable performance. We leave knowing we achieved this aim. It’s a step forward and follows our expected development curve. With another box ticked, we need to keep to this plan in the coming races. We know it will be hard, there’s no doubt about it, but this result confirms we are on track and going in the right direction. We will not give up until we are back to where we need to be.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
The result today – fourth and fifth, very close to the podium – demonstrates the resilience of everyone at Viry. We started the season on the back foot and it has been an enormous task to keep motivated under fire. Every person has contributed to regaining our reliability, and performance is getting better each race. Now we need to keep fighting, and looking forward. We know we can do this, so we will keep our heads down and chipping away until we are where we want.