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Ricciardo admits relief at ‘needed’ points finish in Canada as he explains jump start drama

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 09: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01

Daniel Ricciardo was full of smiles after scoring his first Grand Prix points of 2024 in an action-packed, wet-to-dry race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, saying he “needed it” following a tricky start to the season.

Ricciardo was consistently out-performed by RB team mate Yuki Tsunoda in the early stages of the campaign, with one of few highlights for the Australian being a run to fourth in the Sprint qualifying and race sessions in Miami.

READ MORE: Verstappen beats Norris to victory in thrilling wet/dry Canadian GP

However, plenty of hard work behind the scenes paid off in Canada, where Ricciardo displayed strong pace throughout the weekend to qualify fifth and finish eighth – adding to RB’s tally in sixth place in the constructors’ standings.

That was despite being given a five-second penalty for a jump start, and dropping out of the points-paying positions in a frenetic race that got under way in wet conditions and eventually finished in the dry via several more rain showers.

Asked to reflect on the result, and if it felt bittersweet to finish eighth after starting fifth, Ricciardo began: “Yeah, I would say that. A little bit of relief at the end to get back into the points – for a while we’d dropped out.

Race Highlights: 2024 Canadian Grand Prix

“A few reasons… It was weird, because I got told I had a five-second penalty for a jump start, but I know I didn’t jump the lights, so I was a bit confused.

“I obviously questioned it but then I remember… I feel like when I was finding the revs for the start, I felt like – and I’m watching the lights – maybe the car was moving. Perhaps the clutch or something.

READ MORE: Norris ‘won’t complain’ about Safety Car as he takes positives from ‘amazing pace’ en route to P2 in Canada

“That obviously was a little bit of a back step and then when we pitted for an intermediate, we lost a few positions to the cars that stayed out, and then we weren’t really able to get much out of that new inter.

“The race was kind of getting away from us and then as it dried towards the end we were able to pick our way through a few cars. I’m happy to finish with four points and get that. It was never going to be perfect, these conditions are so hard to get it right for everyone.

“We’ll obviously keep trying to clean it up, but I think in general, for a race like that, we walked away with some points. All in all, a fairly good weekend from start to finish and I won’t complain – it was definitely a good one.”

‘I needed it’ – Ricciardo happy to seal first points of the year in Canada

Put to him that it was his cleanest and most complete weekend of the season so far, Ricciardo admitted the performance serves as a confidence boost for upcoming races – while also hitting back at some critics.

“It’s been good,” he reflected. “I feel as well, these weekends are sometimes the hardest, especially when maybe things aren’t going too well or you’re lacking momentum. We had all conditions this weekend.

READ MORE: Hamilton laments ‘one of my worst drives’ as Canada victory challenge slips through his fingers

“It was nice to, start to finish, keep it on track, keep it steady, keep it smooth. We needed it, of course I needed it. I won’t say anything else to the others! It’s good, we’ll keep it quiet. I’m happy.”

Tsunoda had also been in contention to score points in the tricky, mixed conditions, but a mistake at the Turn 8/9 chicane in the closing stages saw him slide off the track and tumble down the order – the recently re-signed racer ultimately coming home in 14th position.

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