Daniel Ricciardo was satisfied with his podium finish at the Hungaroring on Sunday, and admitted he did not have the pace to challenge the Mercedes duo up front despite his best efforts.
The Red Bull Racing driver made a great start to attack Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg into the first turn, but ultimately was forced to settle for third, and survived a late race challenge from Sebastian Vettel to secure his third podium finish in Hungary in three years.
Even if Ricciardo had stayed in the lead at the first corner, the Australian feels that such was the pace advantage of the Mercedes team that they would have found a way to pass him either on track or through strategy calls, so was happy to claim his first podium finish since the Monaco Grand Prix in May that moved him into third place in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
“I’m really pleased with a podium today, I don’t think we could have got a win,” said Ricciardo. “We tried at the start; we had a good run off the line and at the apex the Mercs were in my blind spot, so I thought I was in the lead, but on the exit I was done by Lewis (Hamilton) and then Nico (Rosberg) got me round the outside of Turn Two.
“I think even if we had got the lead, their pace was good so they could have even over-cut us if they stayed out an extra lap. Third was the best we could do and Seb (Vettel) got really close in the last three laps; my tyres were getting towards the end, so coming over the line in third was good.
“Three podiums in a row here is great, it’s a good place for me. I feel really good. Fridays and Saturdays have been really good for us from the start of the season but the last few Sundays, for whatever reason, I haven’t been that satisfied with, so it was important to put it together from Friday to Sunday this weekend and I believe I did that.”