Daniel Ricciardo has described Renault’s best Formula 1 race in over a decade as overdue but felt it was coming given the potential it has shown during this season.

The Australian driver secured fourth place at the Italian Grand Prix, his best result since joining Renault over the winter, with teammate Nico Hulkenberg in fifth place to notch up the French manufacturer’s biggest points haul at a race (22) since Fernando Alonso took victory at the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix.

Off the back of an emotional Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, when Renault junior Anthoine Hubert was killed in the F2 Feature Race, Ricciardo sees the hefty points haul as justice to Renault’s efforts this season and poured credit on engine development delivering at the power-hungry Monza.

“I felt that this one was a bit overdue because really since Canada we had a strong team result. We finally got maximum points if you know what I mean. That is really pleasing,” Ricciardo said.

“I want to give an extra special shout out to Viry, to the engine boys, because this sort of result here as a Renault team and power unit is quite a statement.

“Every year we come here and it feels like that there is a lack of optimism, at least in the last few years it was never a strength of ours coming here. For them to turn it around this year to make the gains and to put on this result here is special. So this one is for them. They deserve a glass of champagne tonight.”

Ricciardo’s teammate Hulkenberg has echoed his sentiments with his personal best result since the 2018 German Grand Prix.

“I’m very pleased after that result. It feels nice to have a finish like this and hopefully it will bring some momentum for the remaining seven races,” Hulkenberg said. “The team deserve it as it’s been a tough year for us with some difficult results and moments.

“For me, it was a straightforward race. I made a strong start with two overtakes and managed to hold good track position. From there it was about maintaining that, making no mistakes and keeping calm.

“I had some pressure at the end but I managed to fend that off [from Alexander Albon]. It was largely quiet and controlled and a very good team result with Daniel just ahead.”

Renault has pushed up to fifth place in the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship standings ahead of Toro Rosso while it has slashed the points gap to McLaren in fourth to 18 points with seven races to go.

 

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