Ricciardo performs well in Grand Prix despite starting behind

Dan Ricciardo performed well in Austria yesterday.
Dan Ricciardo performed well in Austria yesterday.

DANIEL Ricciardo finished a creditable 10th in Sunday’s Austrian FI Grand Prix after a stellar drive that gained him eight places – the most overtakes of the 71-lap event.

Former world champions Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari took each other out on the opening lap, but the big mover was the Duncraig driver.

Starting from 18th on the 20-car grid because of penalties for an engine change, Ricciardo quickly made up places in a race marred by that collision and several retirements and stayed on the same tyres for longer than any other driver, a tactic that paid off as the race started drawing to an end.

The Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton dominated from the start, but there was a great race for third place between Felipe Massa in his Williams and the Ferrari of Sebastien Vettel, with the Brazilian prevailing to score his first podium of the season.

Fifth was Massa’s Williams teammate, Valtteri Bottas, with Nico Hulkenberg sixth in a Force India.

Venezuela’s Pastor Maldonado in a Lotus and young Dutch driver Max Verstappen in a Toro Rosso had a scary tussle for seventh spot, with sparks flying and tyres smoking as they passed and re-passed each other at more than 300km/h, with Maldonado coming out on top.

There were similar scenes as Ricciardo got his Red Bull past the more powerful Sauber of Felipe Nasr.

Ahead of them was Mexico’s Sergio Perez in a Force India.

There was no comment from Ricciardo after the race, but Red Bull expects the new Renault engine to produce more power to make the car more competitive.

“We ran into some issues during qualifying. We’ll get on top of it. Just a little character building for now,” he said after the qualifying session.

The next race is the British Grand Prix on July 5.