The way the current season is unfolding, there aren’t too many ways of looking at it in order to make some sense. The first and most popular and common view is to suggest that this is the season where Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team are growing even stronger in their grid performances and ultimately, stature in the sport.
After all, Lewis is only a handful of races behind the all-time great (according to statistics) Michael Schumacher. The other way of looking at the season is that 2020 is the year where Ferrari are perhaps as down in horsepower and race-performance as they were in 2014, where the Alonso-Kimi pairing didn’t really bring back any mighty performances in the SF- F14 T, the struggling machine back then.
The third view could be that this is the year where Daniel Ricciardo is taking the fight for Renault in what appears to be the strongest mid-field that we’ve had maybe in last 10 years.
While one the one hand, the Australian’s challenge is outrightly with the two McLarens of Sainz and Norris, both of whom appear, on current form, in great shape, on the other hand, the Renault driver is busy finding a way to deal with the Racing Point threat. For honestly, given the sturdiness of the RP20, there’s no other way to describe the car and the team that is clearly the threat for most others in the competitive 2020 mid-field in F1.
Just a few hours back, Daniel Ricciardo put his Renault on a competitive eighth on the grid. Surely, a place inside the top five toward the north of the grid may have been the best position for a driver who loves winning races; someone who in the past has been described as a ‘race burglar’ by Martin Brundle.
But even then, his P8, one must recollect, is a way better place than the tenth that four-time world champion Vettel managed after enduring a tough weekend so far. And moreover, when you realize that Nico Hulkenberg, who did much better as of a day earlier, could go no better than a lowly thirteenth, you reckon that Daniel Ricciardo fared much better and therefore, is in a much comfortable position for the first round of the Silverstone double-header.
That being said, come race and the Australian whose second nature is attack amplified by what is an immaculate and pure race-craft will be gearing up for the fight that’s right in front of him, i.e., battling the twin Renaults of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr., who begins seventh.
As of the two rounds at Austria, then at the Styrian Grand Prix, it wasn’t that hard to see Ricciardo battling his way with Sainz’ McLaren that fared reasonably better on the shortest race on the roster, albeit the tricky corners unveiling Renault’s unsung corner pace.
And it was at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix that Ricciardo finished a step ahead Sainz’ 9th place finish, the P8 in the end resulting in two valuable points for Ricciardo, who didn’t exactly endure a happy qualifying a day earlier. Moreover, those four points being ever so vital for the French Constructor on a weekend where Ocon recorded a DNF.
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But on Silverstone, while we do not know what might happen on the race-day, it’s fair to note that Daniel Ricciardo is holding in there and giving it everything he can as he seeks to up the game for a team that seems closer and closer to the quicker McLarens out in front. Though the toughest part of the battle would be to challenge Lance Stroll, in a significantly faster machine, 2020 unfurling a nearly shocker of an impressive performance from Racing Point, it still must be said that if any driver can manage an overtake and plan a bold move then it has to be the master of late braking.
More power to Daniel Ricciardo. Keep fighting, champion!