Ricciardo ‘felt pressure’ before maiden podium

Date published: October 8 2017 - Editor

It has taken him seven attempts, but Daniel Ricciardo has finally ticked another item off his bucket list as he claimed his first podium at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Having started fourth on the grid at Suzuka, the Red Bull driver didn’t make the best of starts but he fought his way back and finished third behind Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

“This is my first podium here. My objective this weekend was to get a Suzuka podium and I have it. It feels great,” he said.

Ricciardo had a lonely drive in third place for most of the afternoon, but Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes managed to find some pace late in the race and put a bit of pressure on the Australian in the final few laps.

The Red Bull man, though, held firm to finish 0.9s ahead of the Finn and claim his ninth podium of the campaign.

“It’s a circuit I have always enjoyed and with this year’s car it’s a lot of fun,” he added. “The race after the start spread out a little bit and it wasn’t that exciting from my point of view. I then had Valtteri coming at the end. Actually having a bit of pressure at the end made it more exciting. It was good fun.”