Ricciardo: British GP a “missed opportunity” (VIDEO)

Leave a comment
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo notched his third points-paying finish of the 2013 World Championship with an eighth-place run on Sunday at the British Grand Prix. But the Australian reckons that his four-point haul, his biggest since scoring six points with a seventh-place result at the Chinese Grand Prix, could’ve been bigger.

“Towards the end of the race, I had a very good pace, but I think we might have done better with a different strategy when the last safety car came out as prior to that I could match the Force India and the Ferraris,” Ricciardo said following the race. “At the end, we were on used tires and those who changed for a third time were able to pass me.

“Eighth is a good result, but I see it as a missed opportunity to score more points, because today we were quicker than the Ferraris so to finish behind them – particularly [Felipe] Massa who had a tire problem, is a bit disappointing.”

Ricciardo also had to overcome multiple pit stop issues as well early on. According to the team’s principal, Franz Tost, Ricciardo’s first stop was marred by problems with a wheel that struggled to come off of his car, while his second stop had him lose multiple seconds on the track because of a delayed release due to another car coming in.

Still, better that than what happened to teammate Jean Eric-Vergne, who was one of several competitors that suffered tire blowouts during the race. Ricciardo maintained that the tire degradation levels on his STR8 were “normal.”

“I don’t know what was happening with the tires, as I kept seeing people going off the track and there was debris everywhere,” he said. “It was a little bit dangerous and we need to look into it.”

Valtteri Bottas on Silverstone pole; Nico Hulkenberg a surprising third

F1 Bottas Hamilton Silverstone
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Valtteri Bottas nipped Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Silverstone qualifying Saturday to maintain the team’s hammerlock on F1 results this season while Nico Hulkenberg was a surprise in third.

Hulkenberg is filling in for Sergio Perez for the second consecutive race while the Racing Point driver recovers from coronavirus.

It’s the best F1 start since 2016 for Hulkenberg, who was left without a full-time ride after the 2019 season. He finished 20th at Silverstone last week when an engine problem on the grid prevented him ftaking the green.

FERNANDO IS HERE: Alonso arrives for Indy 500

“The last seven to eight days have been crazy,” Hulkenberg said after qualifying. “This weekend I felt much better prepared. Q3 was just head down, full beans, and give it whatever I had.

“I’m a bit surprised to be standing here, but there’s a big smile on my face.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fourth and will be among the field trying to derail the Mercedes duo that has won the first four races of an F1 season delayed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Feels good,” Bottas said after nipping Hamilton by a few hundredths of a second on his final lap for his 13th career pole position. ” I just love qualifying especially, when it goes well. Proud to drive this car. The race pace is there, so our first job is to get a good start off the line tomorrow and go from there.”

The impressive lap came two days after Bottas, who won the season opener in Austria, announced a one-year contract extension with the team.

Mercedes also is set to begin negotiating a new deal with Hamilton, who has won the past three races in F1 but was disappointed Saturday.

“Valtteri did a great job, but for me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap,” he said. “I don’t think many teams will be doing a one-stop race tomorrow so let’s wait and see how things turn out.”