A hard charging Daniel Ricciardo says ‘he tried everything’ to claim a landmark podium to end his hoodoo at the Australian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull Racing driver, who started eighth, applied serious pressure on Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages with a third place finish up for grabs for the local hero.
Ricciardo set the fastest lap as he mounted a charge on the Finn but ultimately ended up fourth and in sight of eventual winner Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) and second-placed Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).
A podium finish would have been the first claimed by a local in the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo had finished second in 2014 only to be excluded from the results for a fuel flow infringement.
“It’s obviously close today; I could see even at the end I could see Lewis, he was close to us,” said Ricciardo.
“I could touch it, but obviously I did everything I could.
“I tried putting pressure on Kimi (Raikkonen) the whole last stint, then I backed off and tried again.
“So I didn’t get kind of comfortable today, I really tried to make something happen today. In the end, it would have been nicer to start further up the front.
“I obviously tried to do all I could with Kimi. Its a tight track, really tricky to overtake, but we set the fastest lap and really good signs for things to come in the next few weeks.”
Although boosted by a mid-race Safety Car, Ricciardo believes his pace in the closing stages has proved the Red Bull is not too far adrift of Ferrari in the pecking order.
“I think we’re obviously really close to Ferrari’s pace – I don’t know about Seb,” he added.
“He was a bit hard to say, but I think we were definitely one of, if not the fastest car on track today so hopefully that’s representative moving forward.
“I think we’ve still got to find ace on one lap, but the race pace is good.”