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Ricciardo surprised by Bottas' lack of pace at Monza

Renault Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo says he was surprised by how much Valtteri Bottas struggled for pace during the Italian GP.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

Ricciardo passed Bottas at the start and stayed ahead of him until the safety car period and subsequent pitstops, when they swapped positions.

He then followed the Mercedes for the rest of the race, eventually finishing right behind it in sixth place.

Bottas later reported a handling issue, with the car proving especially difficult in right handers.

"Valtteri didn't look particularly quick for their, let's say, normalcy," said Ricciardo. "In the first stint I got him on lap one, and then I expected him to come back by me pretty soon after, and he didn't. And I think at some point I was actually pulling away.

"I know we haven't been slow this weekend. But of course, we're also not a Mercedes at the moment. So I was a little bit surprised.

"And then on the second stint, he had track position on me, and I did feel he definitely made a few errors into Ascari, the left, so Turn Eight into Nine a few times.

"But to be honest that was a place where I was struggling as well, so I couldn't really capitalise, but I could see he struggled a little bit there.

"It just didn't look like he had massive pace again for a Mercedes."

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Ricciardo admitted that the safety car and red flag didn't go Renault's way given that AlphaTauri won with Pierre Gasly, and a Racing Point and both McLarens also finished ahead.

"I certainly enjoyed the race, I felt I put myself in the best position at most given times," he said. "But the circumstances with us. I wasn't the only one, so I don't want to jump up and down and cry.

"But sure I was one of one of them who suffered a bit with the safety car and red flag. So it's one of those ones like maybe what could have been, but at the end of the day this is racing, and we can't dwell on that and have our heads down.

"Getting a sixth and an eighth with Esteban [Ocon] and obviously still losing quite a bit of points in constructors', I think that obviously hurts a team because normally that's a good weekend.

"But again, we have to just accept that luck wasn't on our side today. And that's that's that."

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