Daniel Ricciardo had been less than delighted with his performance in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver lined up in fifth place on Sunday, behind his team mate Max Verstappen.
The Australian followed Sebastian Vettel's lead with an overcut strategy on lap 38, and it worked to perfection. He exited pit lane ahead of Verstappen and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, on course for third place and a podium.
"I'm really pleased to be up here," Ricciardo said on the podium after the race. "I was frustrated yesterday because I knew we had so much more to offer than what we showed in qualifying. I felt like I didn't get to show my pace.
"When Max and Bottas pitted, I had the track to myself for a few laps. I managed to get some good times with those tyres. I did some consistent laps and got in the overcut, so I was happy with that.
"At the time I think my pace was really strong, so I managed to do a really good overcut. That was fun. That definitely made my race today."
The biggest moment of drama for him came at the restart after the safety car, when Ricciardo brushed the wall exiting Sainte Devote.
"I didn’t enjoy that," he admitted. "I wasn’t sure if I damaged anything and then I saw Bottas trying to get inside me.
"These tyres, man, when you get a Safety Car they’re like driving on ice. It was hard. That was not a fun moment, but happy to hold it."
By contrast, Verstappen was not so happy at getting leapfrogged by his team mate during the race.
"It is very disappointing after such a clean weekend where everything has gone really well to then feel I lost out on a podium," he said. "But I guess that is racing.
"I tried everything I could to get close to Bottas. You can say we stopped too early or should have gone longer but that is always easy to think after the race.
"Even after the safety car, I was on fresh, softer rubber but with the wide cars and dirty air you can’t make a move and I had no real chance of overtaking here. "I think I did 77 laps in traffic today, that isn’t much fun. I couldn’t push.
However, he was happy to finally finish the Monaco Grand prix for the first time in his Formula 1 career.
"At least we finished the race which is the biggest positive from the day," he agreed.