After only qualifying sixth, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was not expected to finish on the podium in the Canadian Grand Prix.
But courtesy of a curious two-stop strategy from Scuderia Ferrari that knocked both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen back, a missed opportunity from Sahara Force India to not exchange Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez with Ocon on fresher tires, and Max Verstappen’s own early race retirement from second place, Ricciardo emerged best of the rest behind the two Mercedes for his third straight third place finish
Although Ricciardo admitted he didn’t have the pace, he instead used a determined drive on Pirelli’s hardest compound this weekend – the softs – to hold on for third place.
“Today I only had fun when I saw the checkered flag!” the Australian laughed on the podium. “I was defending the whole race. We weren’t quick and I couldn’t afford any mistakes. Concentration was testing. It’s so awesome to be here.”
Once he finished his interview with Sir Patrick Stewart, Ricciardo then played to the Montreal crowd’s wishes to revive the “shoey” – where Ricciardo drinks champagne out of his race boot. For good measure, Ricciardo had Stewart do it, as well.
“I think I hear something but yeah… I have to do something,” Ricciardo smiled before gulping down his first “shoey” of the 2017 season.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.