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Ricciardo pleased to salvage a point at Spa
25 August 2013
A strong final stint in the Belgian Grand Prix was enough to put Daniel Ricciardo into a points position by the end of the 44-lap race, which was no mean feat since a disastrous qualifying session for Toro Rosso saw the Australian relegated to 19th place on the grid.
“It was nice to get that point!" admitted Ricciardo. "We knew we had to move on from yesterday. I had said that starting where we were, getting in the points would be good, so I'm happy with that and with the pace we showed while fighting to get there."
Ricciardo explained that putting in a long first run on the prime tyres was the bedrock to his achievement later in the race when he put in the mandatory stint on the options.
"We ran a long first stint on the Hards and I think that helped us build a good base to have a strong pace in the final stints on the medium," he said. "I felt much more comfortable on the Option tyre and that's when my race really started.
"With the last set of tyres I was knocking out maybe ten or so qualifying laps and managed to pick off some cars in front to bring home that crucial point," he added.
His team mate Jean-Eric Vergne wasn't quite so lucky, and despite starting one place ahead of Ricciardo on the grid he ended up out of the points in 12th place behind McLaren's Sergio Perez for reasons beyond his control.
“I think we could have done a bit better than this twelfth place," he said. "My pace was good until the final stint when I had a slow puncture almost right from the start of it, which meant my performance dropped off.
"I managed to get past Hulkenberg with an exciting move, but I could not close to Perez ahead of me and then my team-mate Daniel came up behind me on new tyres," he recalled. "It was hard for me to be competitive therefore in the final stint.
"A bit of a weekend to forget as it could have ended so much better, if we had not made a mistake in qualifying," he sighed. "But at least when things were going well it seems that our car has picked up some speed that was lacking just before the break."
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