Daniel Ricciardo was far happier on Sunday following the Monaco Grand Prix than he was at the end of qualifying on Saturday, with the Australian climbing from fifth on the grid to claim the final spot on the podium.
The Red Bull Racing driver made his pit stop later than both Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, and used the clear track ahead of him to put in some strong lap times, which was more than enough to see him leapfrog both drivers once he made his own pit stop.
“I’m much happier today,” admitted Ricciardo. “I can’t obviously complain how it worked out and I have to thank the team. It was cool to show some pace today and we had that clear track.
“I didn’t think the tyres had that much more but I just got into that rhythm, was able to punch out some good times. I knew the pace was right, my engineer was encouraging me on the radio saying: “Pace is really good. Keep going, keep going!” That was certainly motivating and my thanks to the homies.”
Ricciardo did have one bit of luck when, on the restart following the safety car period, he had struggles with cold tyres and, heading into St Devote, he ran wide and brushed the barrier.
Luckily the Australian was able to keep going without damage, and keep Bottas behind him, with the twenty-seven-year-old he was happy to secure his second consecutive podium finish.
“After the safety car it was pretty unexpected when I touched the wall as I didn’t brake late or anything, I felt I was quite cautious, but then when I turned I thought the car isn’t turning, I then hit the wall and thought I damaged the front wing or something but in the end it was okay,” said Ricciardo.
“I’m just happy to be back on the podium to be honest. That was definitely the icing on the cake and is a reward for myself and the team.”