Australian Ricciardo endured an indifferent start to life at McLaren but since the summer break has been a driver reborn.
Having finished fourth in Belgium before a disappointing weekend for McLaren in the Netherlands, Ricciardo scored the team's first win since 2012 at Monza.
“The first half of the year I was trying to play catchup and learn a bit about the car so I was always in [the factory]," said Ricciardo.
"The August break just forced me to get away from it.
“I spent it in The States and just got away. I spent some days in nature at a friends ranch and it was just the time I needed to just reset which helped.”
McLaren 'doesn't want to know' what Ricciardo did in the summer
After Ricciardo led team-mate Lando Norris to a one-two at Monza, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl conceded: “We all don’t know what he did exactly in these two weeks. We probably also don’t want to know!"
Although finishing outside of the points just twice in the first half of the year, Ricciardo had only once finished in the top five.
His points total since the summer break is 38, just 12 shy of the 50 scored prior to the summer break.
“I think it is probably not different for anyone," added Seidl.
"Sometimes you need a bit of a break and have a bit of distance as well after a very intense period for him
“He was putting in a lot of energy together with the team and some of the results didn’t come. Maybe he needed that break to step away a bit, reflect and then come back and apply everything we worked through in the first half of the season.
“Somehow that seemed to work from the first outing onwards in Spa and worked out now over the course of the triple-header, even if it was not that visible in Zandvoort because we struggled overall with the performance of the car."
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