(Motorsport-Total.com) – Daniel Ricciardo was able to collect good points in the last four races, otherwise only the Mercedes drivers managed to do that. “They don’t count, do they? So now I’m the guy to beat at the moment,” he joked before the Grand Prix of the Eifel (F1 2020 live in the ticker!). But he did the math without the McLaren drivers.
“It feels great, we had a good run. I am aware that we achieved good results, but that doesn’t increase the pressure. I enjoy getting more and more points and being up front,” he grins Australian.
In the drivers’ standings he is currently sixth with 63 points, two points short of Lando Norris and fourth. How does he rate his chances for the rest of the season? “We have a good racing car.” In qualifying, however, things don’t always go smoothly.
Ricciardo wants to be in the top 5 on a regular basis
“The Q2 lap in Sochi felt like a perfect lap. Everything came together. Repeating that in Q3 was not easy.” In the end, he finished fifth on the grid. “This year we have given much stronger signs of life than in qualifying last year.”
Ricciardo is even convinced that he can regularly make it into the top 5 with the R.S. 20 in qualifying. “But the race pace was really good too. We are really strong on many tracks, especially towards the end of the race, unfortunately not in Mugello, but for example in Spa and also in Sochi.”
How does Norris assess the duel for fourth place in the World Cup? “It has been pretty up and down so far. We got off to a very good start to the season, we got the maximum out of the first few races.” Right at the start of the season in Austria, he was able to look forward to his first Formula 1 podium.
Photo gallery: Formula 1 technology: detailed photos at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring
That gave him a head start that he is slowly threatening to lose. “Renault got really strong in the middle of the season. I also made a few more mistakes here and there. In addition, some tracks weren’t as accommodating as Renault.”
The Briton assures that he will do everything possible to maintain his position. “But at the same time it’s not easy. One week we are slightly ahead, the next a little behind.” Norris emphasizes that this fight motivates him.
“Every weekend I go into the race with the goal in mind that I want to keep this position in the world championship.” An update package from McLaren is supposed to support him. With the new He has already ridden his nose in Russia, and more new parts are to follow.
Sainz: Drive better than last year
“We didn’t really have big updates this year. We started with a very good package. It took time to understand.” This weekend he expects further stages of evolution. “But that won’t catapult us straight into second place in the World Cup,” he said, curbing expectations a little.
Teammate Carlos Sainz is in eleventh place in the World Championship with 41 points. He has already had to deal with three failures and two zero numbers. Therefore, he no longer expects to be able to intervene in the fight for fourth place – after all, Norris is 24 points short.
“I lost too many points,” he realizes. “I don’t want to rule it out one hundred percent, but it will be very complicated. The year has not been very consistent so far, a lot has happened, so I’m not happy with how many points I’ve already lost.”
In Russia he blocked every chance of scoring points with an awkward maneuver in Turn 2, in Tuscany he was also involved in an accident. “To be honest, I know that I’m driving very well and, apart from the mistake in Russia, I’m driving better than in 2019.”
That’s why the future Ferrari driver isn’t too worried about his world championship position. “It happens to every driver that his position in the world championship does not match his true performance on the track, because in this sport it depends on a lot of things,” says Sainz.
With the right momentum, he wants to contest the last seven races with McLaren and top up his points account. “But to finish fourth against Renault and Racing Point after losing more than 30 points through no fault of my own will be quite difficult.”