Ric­cia­rdo sur­prises him­self to fin­ish third

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

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.

Daniel Ric­cia­rdo.

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