Daniel Ricciardo was one of the stars of the US GP, the Aussie recovering from a bad start to take an eventual third place.
He passed Fernando Alonso at the safety car restart and then jumped Valtteri Bottas at the first pit stops, and Felipe Massa at the second. However he is also now out of mathematical contention for the championship.
“I don’t really want to talk about the start!,” he said. “I feel that it was my fault today. It just didn’t feel like I got the procedure right but I will have to look back and see the ins and outs. For getting off the line poorly, I think we had good damage limitation. Yes. Think I picked a better line in turn one and then, as I said, got Kevin [Magnussen] back in turn 12 so in the end we only lost one spot. I think it could have been a lot worse.
“I think we had good pace. Williams were strong. I think we used good strategy to get ahead of them basically, and that paid off. But yeah, the first few laps were fun. We dropped a few places on the start but then got Magnussen into 12 and then Alonso on the restart so, couldn’t really hang with the Williams at first but it seemed like the longer the stint went, the more pace we had. Really happy with third. As we know, Mercedes are a bit out of reach, so third I think was the best we could do today.
“Felipe was coming on strong at the end. I could see him. At the beginning of the stint I pulled but then he came back stronger than he expected. I don’t know if he had DRS or not but I was trying to do a little bit down the straights so he couldn’t get too much in my tow. But anyways, I think we held on pretty comfortably in the end but they had good pace and kept me honest until the last lap.”
Ricciardo was also asked about his choice of number three: “I was a big fan of Dale Earnhardt. I’m a fan of motorsports but I’ve followed NASCAR since I was very young. It was follow Dale and it was my first go-kart number as well.
“When Formula One said you can pick your numbers this year, it was a no-brainer for me to chose the three and then once they agreed I could run it, I thought what better way to have the style of Dale on my helmet. Yeah, it’s been pretty cool. Dale Junior has seen that we’ve spoken via social media a little bit and it’s really nice that he’s supportive of that. So really quite honoured, obviously, to represent that in Formula One.”