Daniel rocks home grand prix, but more Oz heartbreak for Dany. Daniel Ricciardo battled through from eighth on the grid to take a superb fourth place at his home race. There was more Australian GP heartache for Daniil Kvyat, however, as an electrical issue stopped his car on the grid and he was forced to retire.
KEY RACE FACTS:
- Daniel starts in P8 but battles through to fourth to take 12 points.
- It's the Aussie's best result at his home grand prix.
- Daniil fails to start after suffering electric issue on the grid
At the start, Daniel dropped back to P9 but he was quickly past Nico Hulkenberg and he set off in pursuit of Carlos Sainz. When the Toro Rosso dived for the pits Daniel inherited P7 and he with clean air ahead he quickly caught and passed Felipe Massa.
After his own pit stop on lap 12, Daniel then climbed to P4 as Lewis Hamilton and Hulkenberg pitted ahead of him.
Australia doesn't seem to be the luckiest place for me so far. The car just shut itself off.
The race then took a dramatic turn as McLaren's Fernando Alonso suffered a huge crash, colliding with Haas' Esteban Gutierrez. The two-time champion emerged unscathed from the smash but the race was red flagged.
When the action resumed on lap 20 Daniel was in P4 and on soft tyres. Ahead, race leader Sebastian Vettel was on supersofts ahead of medium tyre-shod Nico Rosberg and supersoft-shod Kimi Raikkonen. Behind Daniel were the Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz with Lewis Hamilton seventh. The Mercedes cars had dropped back after both made poor starts.
Fourth is a good result and I'm happy we're not that far off Mercedes and Ferrari.
There was no time to see whether Raikkonen would catch Rosberg, as on lap 22 he suffered a technical problem and retired in the pit lane with flames spouting from his car's airbox.
That boosted Daniel to P3 and then, when Vettel made his final stop, for soft tyres, he took P2. However, behind him Hamilton was on a charge. After Sainz made his last stop, Hamilton passed Verstappen and he was soon on Daniel's tail.
There was little Daniel could do to resist the Mercedes man's pace and on lap 35 Hamilton went past him to claim P2.
Daniel had his own final stop to make and he pitted on lap 42 for a late blast on supersoft tyres. He emerged in P4 and valiantly tried to chase down Vettel but in the end the gap was too big and he had to settle for a solid fourth place and 12 points. The late push did earn the Honey Badger the race fastest lap, however.
Dany unfortunately had a CU-H failure on the power unit, but he'll be back in Bahrain. A great drive from Daniel at his home race. It's encouraging to see the pace of the car in race trim
With Rosberg victorious ahead of Hamilton and Vettel, and with Daniel fourth, fifth place went to Williams' Felipe Massa. Behind him Romain Grosjean did a fine job to climb from 19th on the grid to sixth to score eight points for the Haas F1 team on its F1 debut. Seventh place went to Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, while Valtteri Bottas was eighth in the second Williams. Ninth and 10th places went to Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen. The Toro Rosso pair provided fireworks throughout as they conducted a no-holds-barred fight for position that ultimately saw Sainz hold the upper hand.
OUR RACE IN NUMBERS:
- 1:28.997 – Daniel Ricciardo lands the fastest lap of the race on new supersofts in the closing stages
- 12 points – For Daniel, four more than he scored here last year
- 24 laps – Daniel puts in more race laps than anyone on the Soft tyre