Red Bull had low expectations at Monza knowing that the long straights were not going to favour their package combined with the Renault engine, openly targeting fifth place.
Despite Max Verstappen’s race slipping away at the start, Daniel Ricciardo carried the mantle for Red Bull, battling the whole race with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas for that coveted fifth place behind the Mercedes and Ferrari. Despite being place second in the championship, ahead of Ferrari, Red Bull were not able to live with their pace. A well timed pit stop from Daniel Ricciardo in the final pit stop phase, meant that he was able to pass Bottas in a late move down the inside at the first corner.
The Australian was extremely pleased with his race despite the pace in the car: “You hope for a podium every race but realistically, coming here, we thought Ferrari would have an edge on us.
“We also thought Williams and Force India would be strong and we targeted fifth place. I just missed out yesterday in Qualifying but managed to make it happen today and for us to finish in fifth and seventh represents Championship damage limitation here at Monza. I was pretty close to (Valtteri) Bottas in the middle of the race and knew I could race hard from that position.
“It was a really enjoyable overtake (on Bottas). I have a three hour drive home tonight and didn’t want to spend the whole journey regretting not trying it. He is a fair racer and had seen me in the mirrors so I knew he wouldn’t turn in, so I had a go. It was great fun and felt nice to come from so far back and make it stick.
“We altered the strategy a bit which meant I had the supersofts on at that stage, so great work by the team to give me the chance to make the move. Our performance so far this season and the result we have achieved here makes me really excited heading into Singapore where I think we can challenge for the top spots.”
After a really poor start from Max Verstappen, he fought his way back to 7th place, helping the team retain their second place in the championship.