Daniel Ricciardo was able to move from sixth on the grid to finish on the podium in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Australian capitalising on the safety car restart to move into third.
The Red Bull Racing driver had moved up to fifth when team-mate Max Verstappen retired and then to fourth when Kimi Raikkonen took a ten second stop and go penalty for ignoring yellow flags, but the safety car meant he was in a great position to get ahead of Valtteri Bottas on the run down the Kemmel Straight on the restart.
From there on, he was able to maintain the position, and bring home his sixth podium finish of 2017, albeit almost eleven seconds down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.
“It’s always nice to get a podium for sure,” said Ricciardo. “Especially after yesterday when you’re on the tail-end of that Top 6, then all you think of is moving forward, so I honestly believed we could be better than sixth today.
“Max had a problem and then Kimi made his mistake with the yellow flag so we gained a few positions but I think after the first stint our pace improved a lot. We showed a more respectable pace today and then we had an opportunity under the safety car with the re-start and took the most of that, so I’m really happy with the result.”
Ricciardo admits he was disappointed to see team-mate Verstappen retire early from the race, especially in front of the thousands of Dutch fans that came to support him, with the retirement his sixth in twelve races.
“I definitely feel for Max,” said Ricciardo. “He’s had a pretty up and down season and most of the time it was out of his control so of course that’s frustrating especially for this to happen at his home race.”