Italian Grand Prix was not witness a dramatic or exciting race, but Daniel Ricciardo made a move on Valtteri Bottas for fifth late on in the race “that was absolutely fantastic”.
The Australia came from a long way behind the Finn to dive down on the inside of Rettifilo, before maintaining his advantage over the Williams driver on the exit of the first chicane.
It was one of the best overtaking of the season so far, and the charismatic Australian reacted in the car with a hand gesture, a nod of the head and, according to the 27-year-old, a giggle from inside the cockpit.
“Yeah absolutely, realistically yes,” Ricciardo said when asked by NBCSN if P5 was the most he could have hoped for.
“We could have hoped for some incidents. But Mercedes was on another level and Ferrari had more all weekend.
“We didn’t get our hopes up. Fifth was good. We put a nice move on Valtteri. I told you before the wasp ambushed me that I’d get Valtteri and I did.”
“He (Bottas) was quick on same tire, I think they had more than us on raw pace. But our tire deg was a bit better,” Ricciardo said.
“We held on a few more laps. We stayed out longer every stint so we could put on the super-soft at the end. In the end that’s what we did. Thanks to the team for that strategy and pull off that move.”
Ricciardo has high hopes for the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, with the tight and twisty nature of the track better suiting the Red Bull car.
“I don’t want to go in there saying I’m gonna win, but we have to aim for a podium,” Ricciardo said.
“It was a dud for Merc last year. Unfortunately I’m sure they’ll be back on form. But I like the track, I like the challenge. It’s hot, humid, physical and I look forward to going there and having some fun.”