Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull “gave it a good shot” after a strategy gamble saw the Australian finish within half a second of his first win of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Singapore.
Ricciardo spent much of the race running second behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, prompting Red Bull to roll the dice and make an unplanned third pit stop with 14 laps remaining.
Fitted with super-soft tires, Ricciardo gained as much as three seconds per lap on Rosberg, allowing him to close up heading into the final stages after Mercedes kept its driver out.
Traffic stunted Ricciardo’s charge, leaving him to finish just 0.488 seconds behind Rosberg at the checkered flag, marking his third finish in P2 in the last four races.
“We’ve come very close this year on numerous occasions, but I’m not going to stand up here and be disappointed,” Ricciardo said on the podium after the race.
“I think we gave it a good shot. We tried something at the end with the different strategy and got within half a second. It was close.
“Hey, we’re up here again, it feels great. There are a lot of Australian flags, every year I see more and more, so thanks.
“As soon as we did the pit stop, we thought Nico was going to come in. I pushed really hard on those tires. By the end they were a little bit dead, but it made it exciting.”
The result saw Ricciardo extend his advantage over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the race for third in the drivers’ championship to 26 points with six races remaining.