Daniel Ricciardo said he couldn't relax for a single one of the 70 laps of the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday as he held off the Force Indias to take his third successive podium finish.
The Australian took his third third place in a row behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, brilliantly denying Sergio Perez for most of the race as the Mexican battled for his first podium finish of the season.
Starting sixth on the grid, Ricciardo capitalised on a poor start from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to jump a place, while damage to Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari, caused by Red Bull Racing team-mate Max Verstappen who then retired with an energy store problem, saw him climb into the final podium spot.
But switching onto the soft tyres while the rest of the field went to super-spots left him vulnerable to the fast-approaching Force India duo of Perez and Esteban Ocon. But neither could pass, and began to squabble amongst themselves, allowing Ricciardo a smooth passage in the final five laps to taking third.
" I had to be close to perfect in terms of not making any errors but it wasn’t easy as the grip was low and the wind was crazy out there," he said. "When we put the softs on I thought it’s a good thing to do to get to the end. (Sergio) Perez was on me for a bit and then there were a few laps when I was able to pull away.
"It looked like he was struggling but maybe he was just having a breather and then he had a second attack. I couldn’t afford any mistakes, especially in the last sector, because if they get the DRS and get a run it’s hard to keep them behind.
"Not the easiest third place but when I saw the chequered flag I was like: yes I can finally breathe."
The result sees Ricciardo remain fifth in the championship standings.