“Nice to keep a few people quiet” — Ricciardo has a “powerful feeling” after P4 finish in Miami GP F1 Sprint

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The Sprint session during the Miami Grand Prix featured a mix of chaotic driving and penalties further down the grid, while the race at the front unfolded relatively smoothly, including Daniel Ricciardo’s standout performance.

Starting from fourth on the grid, Ricciardo executed a crucial overtake on Sergio Perez’ Red Bull at turn 2, who had to back out of it in turn 1 as he was in danger of contact with Charles Leclerc.

Perez then reclaimed third by outbraking Ricciardo into Turn 11 on lap five, which left the Australian without DRS to counter a faster Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri.

Despite the big challenge, Ricciardo impressively held onto his position and finished the race in a commendable fourth place as he placed his car perfectly in defensive situations against the Spaniard.

This outcome marked a positive turn in Ricciardo’s season, which had seen its share of ups and downs, notably with a recent chassis change and improved performance relative to teammate Yuki Tsunoda in China, marking this finish as his best result since Sochi back in 2021.

He will drop three positions on the race grid due to the penalty picked up in Shanghai.

Speaking with Sky Sports after the Sprint, Ricciardo expressed his satisfaction with the result, stating: “Every big result always feels like a needed one. It’s a happy feeling. It’s a powerful feeling.

“Also to back up yesterday. Qualifying was obviously great, but to back it up over the course of a Sprint race, that’s even more satisfying. Also nice to keep a few people quiet.”

Ricciardo admitted that fending off the faster Ferrari and McLaren proved hugely challenging on a physical level. Despite going off the racing line multiple times to defend, the 8-time Grand Prix winner kept his tyres together.

“I’ve literally just stopped sweating. I’m still sweating a little bit, but I couldn’t breathe the whole race. I figured I’d try my best to keep them behind… if the tyres go, then they go, but every lap I could defend, for me that was like a pat on the back.”

The Australian driver went on to praise the change of chassis and the new upgrades, claiming the chassis swap is behind his rise in performance as he can attack the corners like he wants to now.

“Immediately I honestly felt something [with the new chassis], I felt more feeling and a bit more confidence in what the car was going to give me.

“It’s not that it was far off, there was just something missing compared to Yuki at the start of the year, I could just feel like I wasn’t able to do what he was able to do in a lot of the corners.

“I knew there was something there, so I think there really was something with the chassis… maybe the team still doesn’t think so, but I do. Then we had a floor upgrade here and I think that’s helped us in the high speed.”