Renault DP World F1 Team claimed a superb result from today’s Belgian Grand Prix, picking up 23 points courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo’s fourth place – and bonus point for Fastest Lap – and Esteban Ocon’s fifth place finish at Spa-Francorchamps.
On a thrilling final lap, Daniel eased home in fourth position and claimed one extra point for the Fastest Lap of the race with Esteban pulling off a fine overtake on Alex Albon at Les Combes to match his best result in Formula 1 in fifth.
On the one-year anniversary since Anthoine Hubert’s tragic accident at this circuit, today’s result certainly is a fitting tribute to the late Frenchman.
Both drivers made solid starts with Esteban passing Albon on the run out of La Source while Daniel put pressure on Max Verstappen into Turn 5.
As the race settled both drivers occupied fourth and fifth. A safety car on lap 10 meant both cars double stacked for Hard tyres with Esteban dropping a place to Albon in the pits.
Daniel began progressing his way back up to fourth with Esteban locked in a tight battle for fifth, which he was able to snatch on the final lap of the race.
Today’s result is the team’s highest points haul from a Grand Prix weekend since returning to the sport in 2016.
Daniel Ricciardo, started P4, finished P4 + Fastest Lap: “What a race and definitely an excellent result for the team. We had a lot of pace today and fourth is a strong result. It’s been a while since I’ve had the fastest lap of the race, so that was also nice. My engineer told me what the current fastest was and I thought ‘I got this’! It was a proper big lap; I used all the track and went for it. Maybe it was better than my qualifying lap yesterday! This was a good track for us last year and Monza was even better. We’ll see what happens, but we can go there with a lot of confidence.”
Esteban Ocon, started P6, finished P5: “That fifth place was ours today, so I’m very happy to secure it on the last lap. It’s fantastic for the team to have fourth and fifth today, we’ve been quick all weekend and fighting with the top cars. The race was pretty solid, we got Albon at the start and then lost it at the pit-stop. The guys did a great job on the stop, so we’ll see where we missed out there. From there we had to keep working hard, close the gap and then find a pass at the end. It’s positive that the car is performing well at these tracks, so we can go to Monza feeling ready to go again.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: “Today’s result is dedicated to Anthoine Hubert who we think of on this particular weekend. We knew Spa would suit our package and there were big points at stake. We executed our plan all the way through the weekend. While we’re satisfied with today, we have to stay focused. It’s the same car that failed to be in the top ten in Barcelona and that shows a lack of consistency for competitiveness and improving this will have to be our priority. In addition to the strong finishing positions that brings us closer to the teams ahead in the championship, the fastest lap today by Daniel rounds off in style the result and I see that as a reward to everyone in Viry who has been working so hard for several years to get on top of the complexity of the power unit. We’ll celebrate a little bit to give us the energy to attack what’s coming next, but our focus is already on Monza and the milestone of the change to the qualifying mode that we must prepare with the highest possible care.”