• Italian Grand Prix

Strong defence pleases Ricciardo

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2013 « Massa takes one for the team | Hulkenberg surprised at Sauber pace »
Daniel Ricciardo held off both McLarens and Romain Grosjean late on © Associated Press
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Daniel Ricciardo said he produced one of his better defensive drives to finish seventh in the Italian Grand Prix.

In the first race since being confirmed as a Red Bull driver for 2014, Ricciardo equalled the best result of his season so far by finishing seventh with only two Red Bull's, two Ferrari's, Nico Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg ahead. Following the race Ricciardo said his car didn't have the pace to finish any higher and so he was pleased to be able to hold off the challenges from the McLarens and Romain Grosjean behind.

"The start wasn't great; I didn't get off the line as well as I would have liked but I managed to recover on the first lap and get back to seventh place," Ricciardo said. "So I was pretty pleased with the first few laps and being able to hold my ground.

"Then the rest of the race we didn't really have the pace to move forward but defensively I had to make sure the guys were staying behind me and to try and drive clean laps throughout the race. Seventh was the best we had today so I'm happy to have got the most out of that. I was under pressure for most of the race but I was happy to keep them behind me."

Ricciardo will test tyres for Pirelli driving a 2011 Red Bull later this week, and he admitted it wasn't the ideal way to prepare for races outside of Europe.

"I've got a busy week. Got some media with Toro Rosso tomorrow, some simulator, some testing and then we go to Singapore which is probably the most physical race of the year! So in terms of preparation it's going to be interesting but of course I'm ready and looking forward to it."