Sport Motorsport Ricciardo: When third is like winning gold

Ricciardo: When third is like winning gold

Daniel Ricciardo celebrates after claiming third in the British Grand Prix.
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For Daniel Ricciardo, life in Formula One is pretty sweet right now.

The Australian produced another fighting drive to claim his fourth career podium in Sunday’s British Grand Prix, won by Mercedes’ home favourite Lewis Hamilton.

“This is like the best third place I’ve ever got,” said the 25-year-old.

“I’m not normally ecstatic with a third, but I am today.”

Ricciardo, who crossed the line 16 seconds behind second-placegetter Valtteri Bottas, was seeking redemption after a poor showing in qualifying on Saturday which forced him to start from eighth on the grid.

Tyre strategy proved the ultimate difference, with the Red Bull driver successfully nursing his second set through the final 37 laps to fend off a fast-finishing Jenson Button.

“I was very hungry today,” he said.

“I like to think I always am, but today I was pretty jacked up.

“It was good fun for the last 37 laps. I was only nervous for the last two laps when Jenson came charging.

“I don’t think we had an awesome race car today, but we made it work. We used the car we had well, and we played the game well.

“It doesn’t always work out like that – but today it did, so we can all celebrate.”

The result keeps Ricciardo third on the championship standings with 98 points, well behind leader Nico Rosberg (165) and Hamilton (161).

Red Bull teammate and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth at Silverstone, is languishing back in sixth overall on 70 points.

Only once has Ricciardo finished outside the top four in nine races this year.

“To have now four podiums, and a victory, it’s pretty sweet,” the West Australian said.

“Especially when we felt we weren’t going to have a very competitive car after what we saw in testing.

“I would say it’s exceeded (expectations) a little bit. But at the same time, I never doubted myself.

“It’s all worked out really well.”

The F1 paddock heads to Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix on July 20.