Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo believes he can still shine in Sunday’s German Grand Prix despite the fact that he is likely to start down the order as he expects grid penalties for the race.
The Australian is set to exceed his season’s engine allocation and Hockenheim is a better place to take a drop than Hungary on the following weekend where his Red Bull team have a chance of winning.
“I like the track, it’s fun and you can overtake,” Ricciardo said on Thursday. “So if we do have the penalties and I start towards the back I’ll stay positive and know that there will be some good overtaking.”
The driver said it was likely he would take a mandatory penalty, although the extent of that punishment remained uncertain, as the best long-term strategy.
He does not want to risk not taking penalties in Germany and then finding he has to in Hungary.
“You don’t want to risk it for a disco biscuit,” he declared, an expression likely to have puzzled at least some of his audience.
Ricciardo finished second last time Formula 1 raced in Germany but slower and twistier Hungary, which follows the weekend after Germany, is much more suited to the car’s characteristics.
The Australian won at the Hungaroring in 2014, but said he had not given up on doing well in both the remaining races before the August break, “I want a good race here. Even if we start towards the back, I still want to go for it.
“I feel like the triple-header didn’t treat me that well so I would like to at least make this double-header good for me,” said Ricciardo, referring to the recent run of three races on successive weekends in France, Austria and Britain. “Both heads, not just one.”
Ricciardo has won two races this year, in China and Monaco, and is fourth overall in the championship but 65 points behind Ferrari’s leader Sebastian Vettel at the halfway point in the season.