Ricciardo: Renault losing fifth in F1 points would be punch in guts

Jonathan Noble
Ricciardo: Losing fifth would've been punch in guts
Ricciardo: Losing fifth would've been punch in guts

Daniel Ricciardo says it would have been a "punch in the guts" had Renault lost fifth place in Formula 1's constructors' championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.

Renault headed into the Abu Dhabi weekend eight points ahead of Toro Rosso in the race for fifth and, though Daniil Kvyat did finish ninth and ahead of both the Renaults, it was not enough to lift his outfit in the order.

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Ricciardo, who came home two places behind Kvyat in 11th, said it was important that Renault's rollercoaster season - in which it was beaten by engine customer McLaren - did not end with another disappointment.

"I think that would have been definitely a punch in the guts," he said, when asked by Autosport about the importance of securing fifth.

"I know financially it is [a blow]. And you put the financial loss on to kind of motivation loss, and we didn't need that.

"So let's use that as a positive and say, 'Alright boys, we dodged a bullet now. Let's avoid all bullets next year and fuck some shit up!'"

Renault had been in contention for a solid points haul at Yas Marina, but Ricciardo and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg both missed the top 10.

Ricciardo: Losing fifth would've been punch in guts
Ricciardo: Losing fifth would've been punch in guts

Ricciardo said his strategy went wrong when he switched to the hard tyre on lap 11 of 55.

"The hard tyre killed my race," he said. "We didn't have speed on it at all.

"And it's one of those ones as a driver that you know straight away.

"We do test sometimes for five or seven laps, but you need an outlap to know how the car is going to be and I felt it already by Turn 8. I think it was on the outlap of the hard.

"My gut told me that this is going to be a pretty shitty stint, but I didn't say it on the radio straight away.

"I didn't want to be negative from the first lap, but after a few laps I said, 'Boys, we're not going anywhere'.

"So eventually we did a two-stop. The soft was a ton better, but I guess too little too late."

Ricciardo said it was important for him and Renault to understand why the hard did not work before the winter break.

"I don't want to let it go," he said.

"I want to figure out why the hard didn't work for us and actually, more importantly, why we put the hard on. It wasn't our first plan in the strategy.

"But we'll get a break. I think it's important now just in the winter to keep the spirit of the team high.

"We did underachieve for the most part this year, but we must not let that bring them down.

"I think if that's the case, then we're not going to move forward next year. So we'll keep the candle wick lit."

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