Daniel Ricciardo’s recent success in Renault ran out of Portugal overnight.
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Having started from tenth on the grid, Ricciardo moved up to eighth at the end of the first lap, but that was as good as it gets when he crossed the line in ninth behind Lewis Hamilton, who took a historic 92nd race win.
Ricciardo took his first podium since joining Renault ahead of the 2019 season at the Eifel Grand Prix two weeks ago, followed by four consecutive top six finishes.
But for the second time this season and for the first time in two and a half months, Ricciardo crossed the line behind his team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Ricciardo had tire problems throughout the race as Ocon got the most out of a mind-blowing 53-lap stint.
Ricciardo had to pit after just 15 laps and was then easily overtaken by his opponents before crossing the line.
“It was hard. I don’t think I had the pace today, ”he told Sky Sports.
“The soft (tire), which was gutted quite early, on the left front was very grainy and I was struggling with this first stint.
“So I was a bit helpless with this one and we jumped on the media, but then the medium that I struggled with just to keep the temperature in the tire.
“I’ve always been on the verge of temperature trying to push a little harder to raise the temperature and then you’re making a mistake because the handle isn’t there.”
Ocon, on the other hand, was able to handle a 53-lap opening stint on the middle tire before crossing the line in eighth.
“In the beginning it was very, very difficult to start with the media,” said Ocon. “The softs had a big advantage, so I lost a lot of positions.
“But I stayed calm, stayed calm and we decided to carry on with the team. The more we went, the better it was, that was very, very good. ”
Speaking of beating Ricciardo, he said, “It’s obviously good.
“I’m glad to be in front of him. I’m getting closer and closer to it and it feels great lately. ”
Despite his struggles over the weekend, Ricciardo is in fourth place in the drivers’ standings with 80 points, twice as much as Ocon accumulated in 2020.
PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX RESULTS
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
5. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)
6. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
7. Sergio Perez (Rennpunkt)
8. Esteban Ocon (Renault)
9. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
10. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
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