Daniel Ricciardo came away from today’s Hungarian GP with a third place finish but more importantly with the feeling of having put together a good and complete race weekend.

The Red Bull driver enjoyed a good blast off the grid and even appeared to challenge leader Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1, before settling into third with team mate Max Verstappen  in pursuit.

“It’s great to have another podium this year,” Ricciardo said.

“Obviously the first one was a bit bittersweet but this one I can definitely enjoy and for sure the smile is back. I’m super happy to be here today, it’s three years in a row I’ve been on the podium at this circuit so it’s been good to me.”

Ricciardo rotated with ease through the tyre changes but his second stop was executed much earlier than his rivals with the hope of perhaps inching closer to the dominant Mercedes duo. To no avail unfortunately.

“At the start of the second stint we seemed really quick,” Ricciardo later told Sky’s Martin Brundle.

“My engineer was telling the lap times of the Mercedes and we were catching them tenths a lap, and I could see them getting closer.

“I thought, ‘Alright, this could be pretty good,’ but then once they pitted it sounded like they just turned it up. Unfortunately, they were probably playing games. But to hear that I was quicker than them at times helped out my moral at least.”

Beyond the Aussie’s good performance in Hungary, Ricciardo also succeeded in stopping team mate Max Verstappen’s recent forward march, another important factor in the Red Bull driver’s moral.

“For me personally I needed a good Sunday. Qualifying has still been strong but since Barcelona and Monaco I didn’t feel like I’ve left Sundays very satisfied for one reason or another, so it was just important to put together a perfect weekend on my side.

“Obviously that translated into a podium here which is even sweeter. Third is icing on the cake but the most important thing was to finish the race with a smile and the feeling that I got everything out of it and we as a team did the best we could.”

AS IT HAPPENED: Hungarian Grand Prix

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