Racing Point: Ricciardo the 'trump card' for Renault in fight for P3

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Racing Point fears Daniel Ricciardo could be the "trump card" for Renault in their fight for third in the Constructors' standings.

Despite the strong pace of their so-called 'Pink Mercedes' for much of this season, the Silverstone-based squad find themselves in a huge duel with McLaren and the French manufacturer to finish 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes and Red Bull.

At the Nurburgring, a retirement for each of their rivals promoted Racing Point back into that third place with six races to go, and technical director Andrew Green explained what had to be done to stay there.

“To stop getting a lot of bad luck, to start with," he was quoted by

“We just don’t seem to be getting the run of the green at the moment. I just want a normal race weekend, and we haven’t had a normal race weekend probably since race one of this season.

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“All we need between now and the end of the season is just to have normal race weekends, where we can just race the car, set it up normally, just have a normal weekend without any major distractions. That will give us our best possible opportunity. 

"If we have that, then I think we really can challenge for third. We really can. 

“It’s going to be a real battle. There’s three teams there, we’re just swapping places all the time. It’s going to be good fun to the end of the season.” 

One of the biggest setbacks Racing Point had was the 15-point deduction given for running illegal brake ducts after Renault began protesting after the Styrian GP.

Another is having to recall Nico Hulkenberg for three races so far this year, after Sergio Perez caught Covid-19 in August and Lance Stroll was ill at the Nurburgring.

“We haven’t done ourselves a favour by changing drivers. At the Nurburgring, for example, we actually only had one car and therefore only 50% of the data,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“It was an incredibly difficult task for Nico to jump into the car coldly and drive straight away. The goal was simply to qualify for the race. He did that with ease. The improvement was incredible. One more try and he would even have made it into Q2.

“The fact that he still finished eighth from the very back was a great performance on the one hand, but it also shows that our car can’t be that bad."

Perhaps the biggest threat facing Racing Point though is a Renault team very much on a roll right now, with Daniel Ricciardo having scored the most points of any driver not in a Mercedes since the Belgian GP.

“With Ricciardo, Renault naturally has a trump card in hand," Green admitted. "He always really gets everything out of this car.”