Ric­cia­rdo one lap short of vic­tory

Ellenbrook Advocate - - LOOKLOCALWA.COM.AU - Bill Buys

DANIEL Ric­cia­rdo had the en­thu­si­as­tic Ma­rina Bay crowd cheer­ing with ex­cite­ment as he rapidly closed in on race leader Nico Ros­berg in the Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix – but it would have needed one more lap for the Perth For­mula One star to snatch vic­tory.

The Red Bull Re­nault driver fin­ished be­hind Ros­berg’s Mercedes af­ter whit­tling the Ger­man’s 27-sec­ond lead down to just 0.488 of a sec­ond in one of the most en­thralling fin­ishes of the year.

The last 12 laps of the 61-lap race, the long­est and most phys­i­cally drain­ing of the se­ries, were the cli­max of a tu­mul­tuous event.

It started with car­nage when Nico Hulken­berg’s Force In­dia was de­stroyed af­ter be­ing tagged by Car­los Sainz’s Toro Rosso and the de­bris punc­tured a tire of the Valt­teri Bot­tas’ Wil­liams.

Tyre strat­egy again played a ma­jor part in the race.

Mercedes elected to gam­ble with Ros­berg’s tyres last­ing for the last 25 laps, while Red Bull took ad­van­tage of pit stops by clos­est op­po­nents Raikko­nen and Hamil­ton to also dive in for a new set of su­per-soft rub­ber.

Ric­cia­rdo re­joined with­out los­ing his place and set about

hunt­ing down Ros­berg’s Mercedes in the fi­nal 12 laps.

His su­pe­rior grip let him gain about two sec­onds a lap on Ros­berg, but he fell just half a sec­ond shy.

The fol­low­ing duo swapped places with Mercedes mak­ing a quicker tyre stop than Fer­rari, which cost Raikko­nen the third place he’d held for much of the race.

Next came Fer­rari team­mate Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, who put in a ster­ling drive to carve a path through the field for

fifth place af­ter start­ing from 22nd.

Red Bull’s Max Ver­stap­pen was sixth af­ter a feisty bat­tle with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who ended up ninth.

Fer­nando Alonso put the McLaren-Honda into sev­enth place af­ter an en­ter­tain­ing scrap with Ser­gio Perez, who also did well, com­ing from 17th on the grid to claim eighth po­si­tion in the sur­viv­ing Force In­dia.

Kevin Mag­nussen was a ben­e­fi­ciary of the first lap chaos and steered his Re­nault to 10th place, giv­ing the team its first points since the Rus­sian Grand Prix.

In other hap­pen­ings, Jen­son But­ton re­tired his McLaren with tech­ni­cal prob­lems, as did Ro­main Gros­jean, whose Haas ex­pired even be­fore it reached the start line.

On the podium, the ex­hausted driv­ers show­ered each other with cham­pagne – more so to cool their bod­ies in the trop­i­cal heat.

They had av­er­aged 259km/h through­out the race.

Crowd favourite Ric­cia­rdo was de­lighted with this per­for­mance, de­spite the ex­tremely close fin­ish.

“I’m not go­ing to stand up here and be dis­ap­pointed,” he told podium host Martin Brun­dle.

“It was a dif­fi­cult race, ab­so­lutely. But we gave it a shot. It was close, and at least we made it ex­cit­ing.

“I don’t re­ally leave here with any re­grets. Ob­vi­ously we came here to win and we didn’t, but I felt we left it all on the track.”

Red Bull team prin­ci­pal Chris­tian Horner said it was “a re­ally ex­cit­ing fin­ish to a long and hard grand prix”.

The next grand prix is in Malaysia on Oc­to­ber 2.

Daniel Ric­cia­rdo con­ducted an amaz­ing race in Sin­ga­pore.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.