Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo has conceded to breaking into one of his trademark smiles after being gifted his latest podium courtesy of Racing Point's pit-stop error at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez had driven a stunning first stint, preserving the tyres whilst many of his midfield rivals - who had stopped early - became jammed behind Kevin Magnussen's Haas.
That allowed the Mexican to leap into fourth, which subsequently became a podium position when Max Verstappen suffered a tyre failure with 13 laps remaining.
But a call by Racing Point to pit Perez under safety car conditions for a set of soft tyres backfired heavily, allowing Ricciardo to snatch a second podium of the season and promote Renault into third in the constructors' championship.
"I’m not going to take this for granted," he said. "It’s the second [podium] in three races but I’m as excited as I was in Nürburgring. It was a bit more… I feel it was a bit more unexpected, this one.
"We were running P5 with roughly 15 laps to go, I think, and then there was the issue with Max, so that brought out the safety car.
"So I guess that put me in fourth on track, and then Perez pitted which obviously I was smiling about because I was ‘Well, that’s given me third on track’."
By opting to remain on a set of hard tyres, Ricciardo faced a challenge to ensure enough heat was generated at the restart in order to have any chance of fending off those who had pitted.
The Australian was shocked, however, to see Daniil Kvyat in his mirrors as he battled his former team-mate for the final step on the podium.
"I knew hanging on with the hard on the restart was going to be tricky but I was more than happy to fight for it at the end," added Ricciardo.
"Track position’s obviously very important around here. I think both myself and the team were very willing to keep me out on track. We held on.
"I think the threat at the end was Kvyat and that was very surprising. I wasn’t sure where he came from but I was told he was on the soft and he was coming on obviously very strong – but [I] held on and [I am] just very, very happy.
"It’s pretty surreal actually, the first one and to get two now in such close proximity. It’s awesome."
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