Ricciardo pushes Rosberg all the way
Aussie pushes pole-sitter Rosberg to the limits as he finishes second
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo had the luxury of a choice of tyre strategies to outpace and he stretched Mercedes pole-sitter Nico Rosberg thin over the gruelling 61 laps of the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix last night.
And he almost pulled it off, shaving off dramatically the big 20-second lead Rosberg had built entering the last 12 laps, but was only four-tenths short at the chequered flag.
Rosberg may have won - and only just - his first night race and retaken the championship lead from teammate Lewis Hamilton, but the night belong to Ricciardo.
The Marina Bay street circuit is tailor-made for Red Bull and he played out his race well, breathing down Rosberg's neck for much of the race.
Only the German's two pit-stop gamble, one fewer than everyone else, bought him some precious time to cross the finish first.
Ricciardo drove a faultless race throughout the night, but starting second on the grid on a tight circuit, it is often never enough.
But he was happy doing all he could for a good day at the office.
"It was the perfect race for me, but if there is anything that could be made more perfect it was the start," said the Aussie.
"Even if we got an amazing start, we would not have got the jump on Mercedes.
"From that point on, we did what we could and the team put me on a three pit-stop strategy. It was fun and I knew I would get close to Nico.
"Even if this track is difficult to overtake, it was good to push throughout the race and put some pressure on him until the last lap.
"It gave the crowd some hope."
After qualifying on Saturday and with Mercedes still facing niggling car problems, Ricciardo said the race at the Marina Bay was the best chance for Red Bull to post their first win of the season.
If the 27-year-old was disappointed the street circuit did not deliver, especially in front of a huge Australian crowd who came to see him race, he showed none of it.
"It probably have to rain for us to," quipped Ricciardo.
"But, we've come very close this year on numerous occasions but, you know, I'm not going to stand up here and be disappointed.
"We gave it a good shot. We tried something at the end with the strategy and we got within half a second. It was close but hey, we're up here again; it feels great.
"There are a lot of Australian flags, every year I see more and more, so thank you very much."