Daniel Ricciardo overcame a wild Brazilian Grand Prix to finish in sixth place – his third consecutive top-10 result – after an early race incident set the Renault driver back five seconds.
Ricciardo struggled throughout practice and qualifying in Sao Paulo and was forced to start the race from 12th on the grid, two places ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg.
The Aussie’s problems were compounded on Lap 8, when an optimistic overtake led to contact with Haas racer Kevin Magnussen.
The incident saw Magnussen spin out, while Ricciardo, who nursed a broken wing back to the pits, copped a five-second penalty for his involvement.
Despite believing his race was all but over, Ricciardo charged his way through the field – aided by several safety cars – to finish just 10.541 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo crossed the line in seventh place but was promoted to P6 after Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was penalised for a separate incident with Alex Albon (Red Bull Racing) in the closing stages of the race.
“After the early incident, I would have said ‘no way we could finish seventh’, so I’m quite happy with that. I take responsibility for the incident with Kevin,” Ricciardo said after the race.
“It was close, but I went into him and he spun. Sometimes you can do that, and it works, but sometimes you touch wheels.
“In that situation you think the race is over, but we kept our heads down and managed a really strong race. The safety car restarts were fun, and it was good out there.
“There’s one more to go now and I’m excited for that.”
The race was won by Red Bull Racing’s Verstappen, who closed out a dominant weekend after also taking pole position.
Two maiden podiums completed the top three, with Frenchman Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) in P2, while the Hamilton’s penalty elevated Carlos Sainz (McLaren) to P3.
Ricciardo returns to the track one final time for 2019, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 29 November-1 December.