• British GP - Race

Ricciardo overjoyed by 'best third'

ESPN Staff
July 6, 2014 « Button sure he would have been on podium with another lap | Massa wants crackdown on Mercedes' slow formation laps »
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An "ecstatic" Daniel Ricciardo said he would not have been able to hold off Jenson Button for another lap after securing third for the British Grand Prix.

Ricciardo's medium tyres fell off the cliff in the closing stages after an improvised one-stop strategy, allowing Button - on the hard tyre - to reel him in and set his sights on a first-ever podium on home soil. But Ricciardo just held on, crossing just eight tenths in front of Button, though he knows his tyres would not have held on for much longer.

"For the last two laps, I saw Jenson coming and thought I was probably going to be a bit vulnerable but we held on," Ricciardo said. "[Silverstone] has been a good circuit to me in the past so I'm really, really happy. We just held on at the end, I think one more lap would have been tough - Jenson was coming but I'm really happy with the podium."

Ricciardo had used the red flag period to change to the hard tyre, but it soon became apparent the prime was not working, prompting an pit stop ahead of schedule. Red Bull originally planned to call him in once again in the latter stages of the race but when it became apparent the option tyre could make it to the end the team changed Ricciardo's plan, leaving the Australian delighted to make up for his costly decision to stay in the garage in the closing minutes of Saturday qualifying.

"I'm not normally ecstatic with a third but I really am today, obviously to redeem myself from yesterday and also the fact that I don't think we had an awesome race car today, but we made it work. We used the cards that we had and played the game well, so I was really happy to make a one stop work.

"The one stop wasn't planned. We pitted quite early on the prime because we were quite slow and it wasn't working, so we came in for the option and, at one point, my engineer pretty much said alright four laps to go on this tyre then let's box. I said the pace seems OK, the tyres aren't getting any worse and let's try and stay out or at least think about keeping me out there and he said OK we'll look at our options. Then, a few laps later he said do you think you can go to the end, there's 15 or 20 laps to go, and I said, at the moment I think we can give it a crack. So, yeah, we did and it paid off!"

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