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German Grand Prix: Strategy and speed secures second for Ricciardo | One Herald
Home / Health / German Grand Prix: Strategy and speed secures second for Ricciardo

German Grand Prix: Strategy and speed secures second for Ricciardo


In a German Grand Prix dominated by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and tyre strategy, Daniel Ricciardo marked his 100th race in formula one with a satisfying second place.

In doing so the Australian improved his hold on third place in the world championship, putting more space between his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and the two Ferraris which finished fifth and sixth. 

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, both of Red Bull, celebrate after the German Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, both of Red Bull, celebrate after the German Grand Prix.  Photo: Getty Images

Ricciardo got off to a flying start after Mercedes pole-sitter Nico Rosberg stumbled when the lights went out. With Hamilton racing from second on the grid into the lead. Ricciardo briefly ran second before Verstappen – who started fourth – switched to the outside and ran off the track to snatch the position, narrowly avoiding contact.

As his teammate raced ahead, Ricciardo spent lap two holding off Rosberg, until a message from the Mercedes garage reminded him to save his tyres for later battles. It was as good as the day got for Rosberg, who ended up finishing a disappointing fourth on his home track. 

With teams alternating between the faster, but less durable, super softs and the harder compound soft tyres the race was a battle of strategy and managing tyre wear.

Ricciardo made his first pit stop on lap 13, switching from super softs to softs, before going back onto the super soft on lap 34. He spent the next five laps chasing down Verstappen, who was doing his stint on the harder compound softs.

On lap 40 team orders played to Ricciardo’s favour when Verstappen yielded third place by lifting on the long straight, allowing Ricciardo to set a new fastest lap. 

Warned by his garage that Ricciardo was pushing hard, Rosberg – who was on the soft tyre – was told to he needed mid one-minute-19 lap times to  hold off the challenge.   He couldn’t do it and in three laps Ricciardo reduced the deficit from 2.3 seconds to 0.55s.   

Rosberg pitted just before lap 45 and had to serve a five-second penalty for an  incident on lap 29 where he was deemed to have pushed Verstappen off track. Even that didn’t go to plan with the Mercedes pit crew appearing to add extra time to his penalty before releasing him.

This left Ricciardo free to race into second place and made some attempt to chase down Hamilton, who was a further nine seconds down the road. It was tilting at windmills and after getting the gap down to six seconds, the Australian backed off. 

After the race, Ricciardo thanked his parents who had travelled to Germany to see his milestone unfold. 

“This is two weekends in a row now with a podium … I think it is the first double podium for us in more than a year so it’s awesome to close out th first part of the season,” Ricciardo said on the podium after the race. 

“It was a race of strategy at first it was really close at the first corner with myself and Max and he had a good run on the outside. On the supersofts i was much more comfortable and we had good pace for the last half of the race, so yeah we really capitalised on a good day.

“We had a good car, and obviously we couldn’t win, but second and third isn’t too bad.”

For his part, Verstappen acknowledged that leap-frogging Ferrari in the constructors championship had been a key part of the Red Bull plan. 

“We had a good start and from there on I think the pace was pretty good,” he said. “And yeah, we chose to do two different strategies on the car and so I let Daniel by and from there on I think we played really well as a team and to get a double podium out of it was the main target and to score more points than Ferrari and that’s what we definitely did today. 

Hamilton has now won six Grands Prix for the year and all four in July to take a 19 point lead over Rosberg in the world championship.   

The world champ possibly spoke for all teams and drivers when he said he was relieved it was now time for the mid-season break. 

“[I’ll] definitely be relaxing, I’ll have my dogs with me and with family and friends,” Hamilton said. “I think the whole team, everyone back in the factory, everyone here they have  worked so hard the first half of this season, They need a break,we all all need a break so much work, pretty well earned from everyone.” 



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