Daniel Ricciardo stars to record his best result in F1

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Daniel Ricciardo has expressed his delight following the Chinese Grand Prix in which he recorded his best ever finish in Formula One by finishing 7th.

The Toro Rosso driver started the race in P7, and he fought well throughout the race to finish ahead of Paul di Resta, Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg, ending up only 1.8 seconds behind Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.

“I am really pleased to score my first points of the season and to confirm the qualifying performance,” Ricciardo told the official Formula One website.

“After yesterday afternoon I kept calm, knowing the real work would begin today. The last time I qualified this well was sixth in Bahrain last year and then I failed to score, so today, I really wanted to show people what I could do, so it’s great for me to have had a great race but it’s especially good for the team, who have worked so hard for this.”

Ricciardo does believe that he could have done even better had it not been for a run-in with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg which forced the Toro Rosso into a front wing change.

“The early pit stop to change the nose affected our plans and towards the end, Massa’s Ferrari was looking bigger and bigger ahead of me!

“So yes, maybe I could have done even better, but for now I’ll settle for this seventh place

The result is also Toro Rosso’s best since the 2011 Korean Grand Prix, and if Ricciardo can continue this form, he could be in the running to replace compatriot Mark Webber at Red Bull come the end of the season.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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