Daniel Ricciardo has come away from the British Grand Prix with his best weekend at McLaren. The Australian held off Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz to cross the finish line in fifth place, one position higher than what he started on the grid.
The British Grand Prix saw the first running of the F1® Sprint qualifying, where Ricciardo improved by one place on his qualifying position.
After the race restart and a minor scare in the McLaren team after smoke appeared at the rear of Ricciardo's car, the Australian could eventually focus on catching those in front.
After a slow pit stop from Sainz, Ricciardo moved into P5 and was forced to defend from the Ferrari driver over the second half of the race. After having the Spaniard in his rear vision mirror, Riccardo held his position and claimed his best-ever finish for McLaren.
"I did struggle with outright pace. There were parts of the race where I felt I couldn't do that much more, so I've still got areas to work on with myself and getting the car more to my liking, but nonetheless, it was good to hold off Carlos. He was a lot quicker! He caught me extremely quickly, and I knew that if I was mistake-free, I'd have half-a-chance. From that point of view, I'm super happy to end up fifth," Ricciardo said after the race.
McLaren teammate Lando Norris also moved up one place in the race, finishing fourth and moving up to third in the driver's championship with 113 points. McLaren remains in third place in the constructors with 163 points, 19 points ahead of Ferrari.
"From a team point of view, it was a good day, with both cars in the top five. It's the first time this year that I've had a top-five, so I'll take some positives from that – definitely a good day," Ricciardo said.
The British Grand Prix welcomed crowds to the event with drivers and team personnel enjoying the atmosphere.
"Finally, it was great to see so many fans back in the stands here today. As a driver, it really means a lot to hear them cheering you on. There's been plenty of McLaren caps in the grandstands too, so that's awesome to see. I'm definitely feeling the love,” said Ricciardo.
Round 11 of the 2021 Formula 1® season will see the teams head to Hungary for the Hungarian Grand Prix.