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Ricciardo: Big gap to close

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 17-05-2017

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Daniel Ricciardo says he is aware of the big gap between Red Bull and leaders Mercedes and Ferrari after finishing a distant third in the Spanish GP. 

Ahead of the race in Barcelona, the Red Bull cars were fitted with a major upgrade, something the team believed would narrow the gap to their two chief rivals.

But while the RB13 showed improved form in qualifying, Sunday's race proved a sobering day for the team with Ricciardo finishing 75 seconds behind winner Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

"I'm aware of the gap to the leaders, I think they lapped up to fourth place, to Perez behind me, so I was the next place, the next victim," the Australian told Sky Sports F1.

"I was wondering if they lapped me and then take each other out, do I win the race but get lapped, how does that work!? But to be honest right now, I'm aware still of our deficit but I'm just trying to soak up the podium."

Despite the huge gap to the front, Ricciardo was nonetheless relieved to claim his first podium of the season.

"Obviously Valtteri had mechanical problems, I believe, and we were fourth and got promoted to third. Honey badger [Ricciardo's nickname] will take what he can get, so I am happy," explained Ricciardo.

Team-mate Max Verstappen was forced to retire from the race on lap one, a year after he won his first grand prix at the same circuit.

Kimi Raikkonen crashed into Verstappen at the start when the Finn was clipped by Valtteri Bottas at Turn One. Both Verstappen and Raikkonen had to retire with suspension damage.

However, there were signs of improvement for Red Bull during Saturday's qualifying when Verstappen lapped 0.557 seconds off Hamilton's pole position time, the closest Red Bull have been to the front this season.

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