Daniel Ricciardo felt he couldn’t have done any more than second at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Starting from fifth on the grid, the Australian, who came into the race with back-to-back podium finishes, managed to avoid most of the drama unfolding in front of him, which included his Red Bull Racing team-mate Max Verstappen, to climb the order.
But debris left at the first corner damaged his front wing and threatened to hamer his progress. But a red flag, brough about by a frightening accident involving Renault;s Kevin Magnussen, allowed Red Bull to chance the nose and give Ricciardo a fighting chance.
While race winner Nico Rosberg never looked threatened by Ricciardo, likewise the Australian barely saw another car for the remainder of the race, despite a spirited late charge from Lewis Hamilton.
“I’m pleased with that result,” said Ricciardo after picking up his third consecutive podium. “I knew a podium was on today. Of course you can never guarantee, but I knew if we had the pace that we did on Friday, that we would be able to get there.
“With Lewis starting at the back it was an opportunity to get at least a second place, and we got that.
“A win is always the big target, but Nico had the pace that we expected, so second is the best we could have done.
“There was a lot going on at the start and I actually hit some of the debris which damaged the front wing, so the red flag helped us as we were able to repair it. Before that the car was quite affected.
“Then, after that we got going; there wasn’t too much action for me, but I was just trying to be consistent and the outcome was good!”