Ricciardo surprises himself to finish third
THE pace of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull in holding off Lewis Hamilton to claim a fifth- straight podium surprised even himself at the Austria Grand Prix, won by Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes driver Bottas won from pole position at the straight- heavy Spielberg track on Sunday, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel narrowly behind to maintain his Formula One championship lead.
Third- placed Australian Ricciardo, who started fourth on the grid, was six seconds behind Bottas, but continued his strong form to hold off a late charge by Mercedes’ Hamilton.
With three laps to go, Ricciardo was a second ahead of three- time F1 champion Hamilton before defending smartly to keep the Briton behind him as he tried to pass.
The result follows the 28year- old Ricciardo’s victory in an incident- packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix last week before third places in Canada, Monaco and Spain, taking his career tally to 23 podiums.
“Baku, sure I was ecstatic to win, but we knew there were some circumstances. Today, all the top guys finished,” Ricciardo said.
“Sure, Lewis ( Hamilton) started behind, but we had good pace, which is surprising in dry conditions.”
Ricciardo celebrated with his now customary post- race “shoey”.
“It was a fun race, there were some decisive moments at the start and then defending the last couple of laps,” he said.
Ricciardo maintains fourth place in the championship, 29 points behind Bottas.
Vettel extended his lead over main rival Hamilton to 20 points.