Ricciardo initially hesitant on 3-stop strategy

© XPB 

Daniel Ricciardo pulled out all the stops in the closing stages of the Grand Prix of Singapore, but came up just short by under a second to finish behind winner Nico Rosberg.

Mercedes' decision in the latter part of the race to attempt to undercut Raikkonen's Ferrari set in motion a  similar strategy by Red Bull.

With nothing to lose, Ricciardo pitted on lap 48 for SuperSofts and proceeded to make huge strides into Rosberg's lead as the German was forced to stay out to the end or risk being undercut by the Aussie.

In the end, Ricciardo's spirited drive produced a thrilling epilogue but one which left the Red Bull driver just  0.48s adrift from the day's winner.

"We've come very close this year on numerous occasions," Ricciardo said on the podium.

"But I'm not going to stand up here and be disappointed, I think we gave it a good shot. We tried something at the end with the strategy and got within half a second. It was close, we're up here again and it feels great.

In its attempt to gain the upper hand over Mercedes, Red Bull assumed that Rosberg would also pit for fresh rubber and expose himself to the undercut, but the German team kept its driver out, mush to the pleasure of a thrilled crowd.

"As soon as we did the pit stop, we thought that Nico was going to come in so I pushed really hard on the tyres.

"I knew that my pace would drop off a bit because I was getting into the tyres pretty aggressively, but I knew it was going to be close.

"I wasn't really thinking about what happens when I catch him, just focusing on trying to catch him and put some pressure on him, and force him into a bit of an error or something. By the end the tyres were a little bit dead but at least we got close and made it exciting."

Ricciardo was aware beforehand that Singapore would present a good chance of success but given how the race unfolded, the Aussie underlined a strategy call which did not appear all that evident to him initially.

"We really tried to get the victory, we came close but at the time, our pace on the Softs before that last stint was quite good, catching Rosberg slowly.

"At first I was a bit hesitant when they said 'We're going to do a three-stop', but obviously now I see it. It was good to put a bit of pressure on them.

"I think we did all we could, we got close and we'll keep trying."

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