Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo showed good performance to race to a strong fifth in today’s Italian Grand Prix. Daniel overtook four cars in less than 10 laps to secure fifth and consolidate his third position in the drivers’ championship. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel finished just behind in sixth having run in fourth for a long period of the race.
Scuderia Toro Rosso claimed 11th with Daniil Kvyat and 13th with Jean-Eric Vergne, while Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean finished P14 and P16 respectively for Lotus F1 Team. With Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson crossing the line P17 and P20, all eight Renault-powered cars passed the chequered flag at the hardest race of the year for the Power Units.
Key race points:
Daniel Ricciardo lost two positions at the start, but a late pit stop gave him track position for the second half of the race. On lap 34 he passed Raikkonen for ninth and began to catch Button for eighth. Between lap 40 and 47 he made stunning moves on Button, Perez and Magnussen, before closing on Sebastian. He made a move stick five laps from the end to grab fifth.
Sebastian Vettel made a good start to move into fifth. He was the first of the leading cars to pit, which moved him ahead of Magnussen once the order was shaken out. He held fourth until the latter stages of the race when he came under attack from Bottas and then team-mate Ricciardo.
Scuderia Toro Rosso achieved a double finish on its home track. Daniil Kvyat finished P11 after starting from P21 after his engine penalty was applied. Jean-Eric Vergne was just four tenths from P12.
Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean both made up places on their starting positions, with the former passing the flag in 14th, two on his qualifying, and Romain 16th for Lotus F1 Team.
Caterham F1 Team likewise scored a double finish, with Kamui Kobayashi out-racing Jules Bianchi to finish 17th and Marcus Ericsson 20th.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations:
We got all eight cars to the chequered flag, which was the minimum requirement for the race. Fifth and sixth as the highest finishes is not necessarily what we aim for, but when we consider the relative pace of the other cars it is on a par with our expectations for this race. Over one lap we were down, but we saw that the straightline speed was enough to overtake, as Daniel showed with his moves in the latter stages of the race.
Monza is a bit of a one-off and we will not encounter the same high-speed, low downforce configuration again this year. We do know however that we have made good strides in energy management and top speed and putting these together and keeping momentum should see us return to the front, or close to the front, in the future races.