Ricciardo happy with recovery in Brazil after first lap incident

Daniel Ricciardo felt happy with his recovery drive to sixth place in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix after a first lap incident with Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne left him at the back of the Formula 1 field early on. 

Ricciardo made contact with the two drivers at Turn 2 on the opening lap, spinning onto the grass as Magnussen and Vandoorne were both knocked out of the race.

The Red Bull driver said he didn’t regret an attempt at an aggressive start, despite the setback as he was left at the back of the field under the safety car.

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“I saw it bunched quite up in Turn 2. I saw some room on the outside, so I went for it,” Ricciardo said.

“There’s always a risk on the outside, you can’t be naive, but at the same time the start is the best opportunity to make up a handful of places. I don’t regret trying it.

“I still don’t really know what happened, but I assume the cars kind of drifted up into me and caught me. I tried to leave as much room as I could.

“I got hit, and then fortunately we didn’t have damage. I think we just damaged the tyre.”

Despite racing with his Renault engine turned down in order to ensure its life through to the end of the season, Ricciardo was pleased to pick his way back up the order to take sixth at the chequered flag.

“We were able to come through the field – not as quickly as Lewis [Hamilton], but relatively for our pace. I got through the cars as quick as I caught them. Pretty happy with the race,” Ricciardo said.

“At the start we run [the engines] as hard as we can. Once it kind of settled, I guess we saved them a little bit. 

“This one’s got to get me through to the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi. We have to be a bit safe.

“The team told me sixth place was secure, they kind of told me to ease off a bit. But for the most part, I’d say the next 75 per cent of the race was pretty fun.”

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