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Ricciardo says he and RB ‘overachieved’ with ‘hard-fought’ run to P9 in Austria

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 30: 9th placed Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB talks

Daniel Ricciardo was left satisfied with a pair of hard-won points in the Austrian Grand Prix, after finishing the race in ninth place.

Following a frustratingly point-less weekend for RB in Spain where their significant upgrade package failed to yield results, the situation didn’t look to have significantly improved in Austria, as both Ricciardo and team mate Yuki Tsunoda failed to score points in the Sprint.

READ MORE: Russell claims surprise win in Austria after Verstappen and Norris dramatically collide in battle for the lead

But qualifying P11 for the Grand Prix set Ricciardo up for a run to ninth place on Sunday – aided by the Lap 64 crash of Ricciardo’s former Red Bull and McLaren team mates Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, which saw Norris retire – as Tsunoda could only manage P14, the same position he started in.

“Hard-fought – definitely,” was Ricciardo’s verdict on his performance. “I semi-apologised to Pierre [Hamelin, Ricciardo’s race engineer] after the race; I was like, “Sorry, I couldn’t talk much today.” I was pretty locked in – it took a lot of concentration and effort.

Ricciardo will ’swipe out of the paddock with a smile’ after points in Austria

“We were a bit more on the defence, a bit more mirror-watching today,” added Ricciardo. “We were hanging onto the points. At the end actually, the last few laps I had DRS on [Kevin] Magnussen, so we had a little bit of pace, probably at the end when the tyres were getting older.

“But more of the stint, I felt like we weren’t a very fast car in our group. We were just hanging on by the skin of our teeth.

READ MORE: ‘I feel let down’ – Norris says Verstappen ‘in the wrong’ as both drivers give their take on Austria clash

“I think the strategy, the team did well,” added Ricciardo. “We used our two hards to our advantage, pitting early and kind of securing our position against the Alpines. At the end, it took some quick laps, [Pierre] Gasly was quite quick on the medium. Obviously Haas outscored us today, but look, we got some points, a bit of damage limitation, but it’s been a better weekend.”

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 30: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Visa Cash App RB VCARB

Ricciardo admitted he'd done more "mirror-watching" than he'd have liked on race day

The weekend saw rumours swirling through the Austria paddock that Ricciardo’s performance in 2024 – where he’s been outscored so far by Tsunoda – might mean that the Australian would fail to see out the season at RB, let alone be re-signed for 2025.

But Ricciardo said he’d been satisfied with his performances from the previous three races in Canada, Spain and Austria, as he now looks ahead to Silverstone this weekend.

ANALYSIS: Why RB have locked down Tsunoda, why he was overlooked by Red Bull, and what the move means for Ricciardo

“I look back now at the last three – the last three have definitely been better, leaving the Sunday feeling like we’ve got pretty much the most out of it,” he said. “There’s always going to be areas that I can do better and improve, but on the whole, we kind of swipe out of the paddock with a smile and feeling like we ticked most boxes, so that’s good.

“Got to keep that up, but it’s a nice feeling to fight and drive a clean race and obviously bring a couple of points home for the team. Deep down we’ll look back at our pace and say maybe we didn’t belong in the points today, but I feel like in some parts we overachieved, and we’ll maybe give ourselves a pat on the back.”

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