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Ricciardo: Bottas battle shows Renault belong at the top

Ricciardo: Bottas battle shows Renault belong at the top

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Ricciardo: Bottas battle shows Renault belong at the top

Ricciardo: Bottas battle shows Renault belong at the top

Daniel Ricciardo felt his brief battle with Valtteri Bottas in Canada and a recent upswing in form has helped justify his decision to leave Red Bull for Renault. After qualifying fourth in Montreal, Ricciardo came home sixth, but briefly held up Bottas, despite the Mercedes' strength.

Bottas looked set to execute a simple DRS-assisted blast down the back straight, but Ricciardo defended his position hard and the Finn took two more laps to get by on his way to fourth place.

Both Bottas and Ricciardo hailed the battle as hard racing and the Australian said it had an upifting effect on the whole Renault team.

He said: "I was like 'let's put up a fight'. I knew I was clearly the underdog in that battle.

"That was a little personal challenge for me as well. I also thought that everyone expected us to drop behind the faster cars in the race, so I thought if I can maybe give the team of something to get excited for again, then why not?

"It was nice to race one of those cars that's won races this year. Part of me as well was reiteration for me that I belong there, and I wanted to show the team that the car can run there.

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"There was certainly some aggression behind the visor for those few laps. Happy aggression.

"I think it had slowly been coming, like we'd started to put a string of Q3s together. I think we were slowly releasing that weight.

"It did two good things: obviously it gave everyone a bit of a lift. But it also I feel ignited a pretty nice fire. The team had their first taste of a pretty big result in a while, especially the qualifying, nearly getting interviewed after qualifying!

"I think even just getting a sniff of that was good to see. Obviously the competitor in me obviously wants that, and that's always there. Seeing it within the engineers, the mechanics and everyone, everyone just had a buzz about them. It was nice."

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