Ricciardo brings home a Monaco trophy despite a brush with the wall
Daniel Ricciardo admitted he was lucky to carry on after hitting the wall at Saint Devote as he finished third at Monaco on Sunday.
Under pressure from Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes after a safety car restart, Ricciardo appeared to run too deep into the first corner, slamming his left front into the barrier. Fortunately for the Red Bull Racing man, not only was he able to continue, he held off Bottas' attempt to pass, forcing him back into the clutches of an unhappy Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman cut a despondent figure after losing out in the pit-stop shuffle, missing out on the podium spot Ricciardo would eventually go on to take, having instead to settle for fifth.
Ricciardo meanwhile benefited most from the stops, jumping from fifth to third. And although he couldn't keep with the leading Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, the Australian finished the race alongside them on the podium - his second podium in a row.
It was a significant change in fortunes from 24 hours earlier when Ricciardo pointed the finger at his team for wasting what he felt was a good opportunity to get on the front row of the grid at the Principality by only allowing him one shot at a flying lap.
"I’m much happier today," he smiled. "I can’t obviously complain how it worked out and I have to thank the team. It was cool to show some pace today and we had that clear track. I didn’t think the tyres had that much more but I just got into that rhythm, was able to punch out some good times.
"After the safety car it was pretty unexpected when I touched the wall as I didn’t brake late or anything, I felt I was quite cautious, but then when I turned I thought the car isn’t turning, I then hit the wall and thought I damaged the front wing or something but in the end it was okay.
"I’m just happy to be back on the podium to be honest. That was definitely the icing on the cake and is a reward for myself and the team.”
Verstappen meanwhile felt his fifth place, his first finish in three attempts at Monaco, was an opportunity missed.
He added: "It is very disappointing after such a clean weekend where everything has gone really well to then feel I lost out on a podium, but I guess that is racing.
"I tried everything I could to get close to Bottas, you can say we stopped too early or should have gone longer but that is always easy to think after the race.
"Even after the safety car, I was on fresh, softer rubber but with the wide cars and dirty air you can’t make a move and I had no real chance of overtaking here.
"I think I did 77 laps in traffic today, that isn’t much fun and I couldn’t push but at least we finished the race which is the biggest positive from the day.”