Ricciardo achieves Suzuka podium objective
8 October 2017 – Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was pleased to complete his personal "objective" of securing his first Japanese Grand Prix podium.
Ricciardo, who started third on the grid, lost positions off the line, falling behind team-mate Max Verstappen and Force India's Esteban Ocon.
Ricciardo cleared Ocon and the ailing Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel to move back into third place early on, but lost ground to the leader, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen.
In a similar scenario to Malaysia – where Ricciardo fended off Vettel for the final podium place – Ricciardo was once again put under late pressure for his spot on the rostrum.
However, Ricciardo resisted Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas to achieve his goal of obtaining his first podium at Suzuka – his ninth of the season.
"This is my first podium here... my objective this weekend was to get the Suzuka podium, and I have it – it feels great," said Ricciardo.
"It's a circuit I've always enjoyed, and with this year's car it's a lot of fun."
Ricciardo added that he relished the late-race battle with Bottas after a relatively lonely race.
"The race after the start spread out and wasn't that exciting from my point of view," he said.
"I then had Valtteri coming at the end, so to have a bit of pressure at the end made it more exciting – it was good fun."