Aussie Ricciardo close to first win of F1 season
DANIEL Ricciardo says he can get a first Formula One win of the season for Red Bull after just missing out at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Perth-born Red Bull driver closed to within half a second of winner Nico Rosberg but said if the weather works with him for the rest of this campaign, he will break his winning duck for this season.
"With some rain, yeah [we can win],” he said.
"I think in dry circumstances this was our best shot.
"We got within half a second but after the race I said on the radio to the team that we'll win this year.”
The win for Mercedes driver Rosberg put him in front of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who finished third in Singapore, on the F1 standings, but he would have been sweating as Ricciardo closed the gap in the final stages.
The Aussie's bold tyre strategy almost worked but he just ran out of laps as pole sitter Rosberg held on for the narrow victory.
The German won for the eighth time this season, taking victory by 0.488 of a second and now tops the drivers' championship on 273 points, ahead of Hamilton (265) and Ricciardo (179).
"I'm sitting here pretty happy because I felt I did all I could. The perfect race,” said Ricciardo after he fitted fresh supersoft tyres with 16 laps remaining in a bid to catch Rosberg.
"If there was anything that could have been more perfect it was the start but Nico got off the line well.
"So, even with an amazing start we wouldn't have got the jump. It looked like his was near perfect.
"From that point we just tried to do what we could.
"The team put me on a three-stop at the end. It was fun. It was good to push the whole race and I knew I would get close to Nico at the end.
"So even if the track's difficult to overtake (on), it was nice to be able to push to the last lap and know that I was at least putting some pressure on him and giving the crowd still a little bit of hope.
"To overtake around here isn't easy, so to do it on the same tyre, even if I was half a second quicker, you still need a pretty big advantage to pull something off unless a mistake is made by the guy in front,” Ricciardo added.
"I think we did the right thing in the end.
"Obviously it still didn't give us victory but I think staying on the same tyre probably wouldn't have given us any better chance.”