Daniel Ricciardo finished 3rd in the F1 USA Grand prix. His Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen did not finish the race.
“In the beginning of the race the supersoft tyres helped me. But the actual start I felt wasn’t really that much better than the Mercedes. Then I saw Nico [Rosberg] going to the outside so it gave me an opportunity on the inside. Obviously I would have loved to have lead out of Turn 1 but second was good enough. I tried to stay with Lewis [Hamilton] the first couple of laps but then his soft tyres were able to go a bit better.
I think we were looking good for P2 but then the Virtual Safety Car didn’t work in our favour today. I’m not going to be too disappointed. It’s just cool to be on the podium here. I love coming here. The anthem was pretty awesome before the race, I had goosebumps, I’m not gonna lie. And then the podium after was great.
It’s another big bag of points and we at least had Nico’s pace. So that’s encouraging and we’ll try and do what we can in the next few days. Obviously Max and Kimi [Raikkonen] had their misfortunes today. It was just me and Seb [Vettel] out there, but we still gained a little bit on Ferrari so we’re looking good. We’ll try and keep going like this and get on the podiums for the last few races.”
“It was a very unfortunate way to end the race, especially as the first part was so positive. The start was OK. Being on the harder compound means it is always going to be tricky but we managed to get away and stay in front of Seb. I was happy with the pace and I felt good out there. It was a nice battle with Kimi who I was glad to pass.
I’m sure there was the ability to race the Mercedes. But it is just very hard to pass them due to the straight line speed. I backed off Nico in the end to save my tyres and maintain the gap from the Ferrari.
The pit stop issue was my misunderstanding. The team had asked me to push the lap before so I thought I was going to be coming in. I pitted and then realised they hadn’t actually made the call. Luckily it didn’t affect the end result. Shortly after I had come back on track I heard a banging noise coming from the engine so I pulled the clutch. They then asked me to release it again and keep going so they could try and work out what it was. Unfortunately we couldn’t solve it and it ended my race.
At the end of the day the race pace was good. The setup felt strong so I am positive and looking forward to Mexico next week.”