For the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team, the United States Grand Prix was relatively positive, with Daniel Ricciardo securing his eighth visit to the podium with third place, while Sebastian Vettel was able to fight through to finish seventh despite having started from the pit lane in Austin.
Ricciardo was able to claim his fifth third-place finish of the season after managing to jump the two Williams’ in consecutive pit stop windows, and was happy to have kept the two Mercedes drivers in view, at least during the first stint. He admitted his sluggish start was purely down to him, but was delighted at the fight back.
“I’m happy with that,” asserted Ricciardo. “I could see the Mercedes for the first part of the race which was really cool, I don’t know if they were just chilling, but we seemed to have good pace. It was great to get ahead of the Williams and to get onto the podium.
“The start wasn’t very good, I have to put my hand up to that one, but the recovery was good so we didn’t really lose out. The pit stops were really good, Red Bull is known for being awesome in the pits and they showed it today.”
Vettel felt seventh was a legitimate target ahead of the race and managed to claim that position after a great last stint on Soft tyres enabled him to pass a number of cars and finish on the tail of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. He admitted the early stages of the race where he was following other cars was tricky with his low downforce set-up, but was positive about his race result.
“The first half of the race wasn’t so good,” confessed Vettel. “The second half it came more alive and we were able to make up some ground with a pit-stop near the end of the race.
“We decided to go for fresh tyres with only a few laps to go, so we were in a stronger position at that point compared to others who were struggling on older tyres and the pace was better. The low downforce set up was good for passing, but it made it difficult to stay close to people.”