Daniel Ricciardo was understandably thrilled at notching up his first Grand Prix podium at yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix, and even more delighted at being able to keep his third-placed finish this time.
The Red Bull Racing driver had previously achieved the feat on home soil at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, only to be stripped of the result when he was disqualified for a fuel flow infringement.
“It’s really nice to be on the podium and I’m sure we’ll get to keep it this time!” he joked after finishing behind the leading Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“We knew we could not catch the Mercedes, but we believed we had better pace than the guys behind, so before the race we’d said that third was going to be a good day. It’s nice to stand back up on the podium – I actually still feel a bit awkward up there, but I’m sure I will get more comfortable.
“It seems at the moment it’s Mercedes who are battling between themselves and they are doing a tremendous job,” he added. “With Seb coming through the pack for fourth today, it seems we have been the second best team this weekend. I think it is still going to vary a bit, but maybe it will be a battle for that last place on the podium with me and Seb in Monaco, we will see. Monaco should be okay for us and hopefully we can get a bit closer to the Mercs there. It will be interesting and we will try as much as we can to catch them!”
Teammate and reigning champion Sebastian Vettel finished behind Ricciardo in fourth, delivering quite possibly the drive of the day with a hard-charging effort from fifteenth on the grid.
“I enjoyed it a lot and I think fourth was the best we could do today,” the four-time champion said afterwards.
“We were quite happy with the car. We had to be patient. In a train your car slides, the car in front of you slides and you lose grip.
“Once the traffic was clear, we were able to use the pace. We had a good strategy and had two sets of softer tyres at the end and could get past some people.”
Images via XPB Images