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Ricciardo: “Great relief” to beat Gutierrez for point

May 15, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo said he only just managed to keep Esteban Gutierrez behind for tenth place – and a point – in the Spanish Grand Prix.

“We had to really scramble to hold on to tenth,” he told Toro Rosso’s website.

“I wasn’t happy with the balance of the car in that first stint – in fact I was angry because I knew the car had more potential and we just weren’t using it,” he explained.

“Then, the next two stints were really good. The car started working better, I was passing people instead of being passed. At that point I thought we were looking like scoring quite heavily. Then on the last two stints the pace dropped away again.”

He came under attack from the Sauber driver in the final laps of the race: “With a few laps left, the team said Gutierrez was about three seconds behind me – but a couple of corners later he was right on my gearbox. Three seconds! Where did that go?”

“Initially, because he caught me so quickly, I thought he’d be able to walk around me – but I was able to just tick the laps off one-by-one and cover him in the areas where he might be able to pass.

“I just got it – but that last lap was tight. Coming out of turn ten he got nearly alongside me and we were both sideways out of there. I was desperately trying to hold on to it. It was a great relief when I crossed the line in front.”

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