Daniel Ricciardo topped off a stellar weekend with a fifth-place finish at the United States Grand Prix.
The Australian was in his element all weekend, soaking up the Austin spirit from the moment he and the team entered the paddock. The upbeat nature of the honey badger was on full display for all to see.
The battle between McLaren and Ferrari was on full display on the opening lap, with Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris jostling for positions. After a few close moments and several position changes, Ricciardo executed a perfect move up the inside and came out ahead.
Ricciardo remained in P5 for the majority of the race; however, he was challenged on lap 38 by the Ferrari of Sainz, who he had successfully kept out of DRS. The Australian defended well and in the heat of the moment, the two came together, resulting in damage to Sainz front wing.
“That got a bit dirty. He did that on purpose,” Sainz said on team radio.
After the incident and the damage, Sainz wasn’t able to make any further challenges and eventually fell back behind Valtteri Bottas.
Ricciardo’s race remained uneventful from that moment, with another successful weekend when compared to his teammate in Norris.
Sky Sports commentator Karun Chandhok had positive remarks for Ricciardo over the broadcast.
“He’s having a great race here ahead of (teammate) Lando Norris, and it’s been a tough season,” he said during the race.
“All through this weekend he’s looked great, competitive and in the race so far he has delivered very well.
“This is what McLaren needs in the run to Abu Dhabi.”
In his post-race interviews, Ricciardo said that he was pleased with the performance but still knew there was room for improvement.
“It was definitely a better weekend, it was smooth, but there’s definitely still moments in the race where I know I can do better,” he said.
“I still make a few mistakes and I’m not always getting on top of the car ... it’s still going to take a bit more time.”