Daniel Ricciardo admitted he’d have “liked a bit more of a fight until the closing stages” with Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, having withstood the German’s only attack for third place.
Ricciardo took the final step of the podium in the Malaysian Grand Prix, having faced late pressure from a charging Vettel.
The Ferrari driver used a different tyre strategy, opting for the harder Soft compound tyres and finishing on the softer SuperSoft compound for the end of the race – having started from last place. This gave him the speed at the end of the race to catch, but ultimately not overtake, Ricciardo. This made for a nail-biting race, and one that even he enjoyed.
“I enjoyed the race today. At the beginning I had hope that I could finish second but then after the pit stop it was just about holding on to third as Seb was coming.
“I was always going to get my elbows out and make it as hard as I could but I was surprised that there was only one proper attack from him.
“Maybe he used all the tyres to get up to me and then after the attack I guess he had some problems. If I’m honest I would have liked a bit more of a fight until the closing stages just to have made it a little more exciting as the last few laps were kind of lonely.”
Ricciardo was joined on his eighth podium of the season by teammate Max Verstappen, who took first place. This was the team’s first double-podium since last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix, and marks a possible turning point for the team’s performance. It also bodes well for the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix.
“This double podium is a very positive result for us today. Obviously Max got the big one and drove well so congrats to him for the win; he drove strong all weekend. There were a few extra bits available for the cars here and I think we’re going to try that again in Suzuka; it looks positive for us at the high downforce circuits.”