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Ricciardo: Renault team orders 'the right call'

Ricciardo: Renault team orders 'the right call'

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Ricciardo: Renault team orders 'the right call'

Ricciardo: Renault team orders 'the right call'

Daniel Ricciardo thanked Renault for making the "right call" by swapping him and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg at the Japanese Grand Prix, a move that helped the Australian bank big pints at Suzuka.

The pair were running ninth and 10th with less than 10 laps to go and several cars bunched up ahead, each benefitting from DRS to negate passing opportunities.

Ricciardo told Renault he would be able to make up places, and duly delivered after Hulkenberg was ordered aside, passing Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly to come home seventh, while he gained an extra spot post-race after Charles Leclerc's penalty.

The haul moved Ricciardo up to ninth in the drivers' standings and pushed Renault clear of Racing Point and Toro Rosso in fifth – pending the result of a post-race protest lodged against their car – and the Austrliaan praised the team game on show.

He said: "I saw that we were all in a DRS train. I think he'd been in [Lance] Stroll's DRS for quite a few laps, so I came on the radio.

"I don't normally like to call for things, but I just said, 'Guys if he can't pass, release me.' I said I'm sure I can get them.

"I think after two laps they released me, and then I reassured them, 'Guys I'm going to get them, trust me we've made the right decision.' And obviously we did. I thanked them after, and I think clearly in the end it was the right call.

"I don't always ask, because I think a lot of the time people ask looking for a favour. But I really believed I obviously had the pace and the tyre to do it, so that's why I had a lot of confidence that once being released I could get the guys in front."

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