Daniel Ricciardo has hailed his best finish for McLaren as “better late than never” but feels he requires more consistency to “have faith” in his return to form after Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Before Sunday's race, Ricciardo had finished sixth on three occasions in Imola, Spain and France, but after holding off the attacking Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in the closing stages at Silverstone he finally went one better.
Reflecting on his best performance of the season, Ricciardo said: “The first stint I could see the others just drive away, I didn’t have enough speed so there’s still definitely some things to learn and improve and work on.
“When I saw Carlos coming in that second stint he was so fast. I was obviously ready for the fight and the defence, but the pace he caught me, watching from the outside, I guess he was the betting favourite.
“I certainly backed myself and I wasn’t going to go out without a fight. Pushing to defend allowed me to stay on the limit a bit more and get a bit more comfortable with the car on the edge. I learned a bit more from that actually, so we’ll keep going.
"On paper, happy with my first top-five of the year. It took a while but better late than never. Happy with the points and to have both cars in the top five for the first time this year.”
Ricciardo cautious to promise future success
Ricciardo has struggled at McLaren, after moving from Renault for the start of this season, and been overshadowed by British team-mate Lando Norris, who again out-scored the Australian with fourth.
Despite his issues, the seven-time race winner has still scored 50 points - albeit 63 fewer than Norris - but feels he needs to now string results together to build confidence, following up with the final race before the summer break in Hungary.
Asked if this was a restart of his season he said: “Maybe. I definitely need to have a few in a row, I need to have that consistency now to have a bit more faith in saying that.
“I want to say that, I do feel better but there’s still certainly some time on the table that I need to find and get comfortable with the car."
Expressing his "love" of the Hungaroring, Ricciardo added: "If I can have a strong weekend there that would give me the confidence that this is the upwards trajectory."
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