It looked like we had the Daniel Ricciardo of old at the Mexican Grand Prix, as the Australian completed a plethora of his signature late breaking overtakes to finish in P7.
The 33-year-old was one of the drivers who went bold on their strategy, going for a medium-soft combination and still making the one stop work.
One of his overtakes was less successful however, trying to make a move on AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda stick going around the tight Turn 6 section, with the Japanese driver not giving him any room to complete the move.
The Australian committed to the move, hitting the side of Tsunoda’s car and forcing him to retire from the race, with a very nasty looking tear in his sidepod being a part of the damage.
“I’ve seen a few replays. I’ll take more of the responsibility but I don’t feel it’s 100 to zero my fault,” said Ricciardo when asked about the incident.
“I didn’t lock, I stayed on the apex. The truth is I didn’t plan or want to overtake him there.
“Of course, I wanted to overtake him but I wasn’t set into that corner to outbreak him and overtake him.
“I thought if I stay there, all the grip is on the inside of that corner. It’s very dusty. I just thought if I could stay there, keep him a bit on the dirty line, I’ll get a better exit.
“We probably need to give each other 20 to 30 more centimetres and we’ll be fine – probably not even that.”
Race control did not see the incident the same way as Ricciardo, slapping the driver with a ten second time penalty as opposed to the usual five seconds, forcing the eight-time race winner to find another level of performance to break away from the rest of the pack.
Ricciardo ended up finishing an impressive seventh, charging through the Alpines and his teammate Lando Norris and pulling over ten seconds clear of Esteban Ocon in eighth to make his penalty redundant.
“I wish it didn’t happen, and I’m sorry it did but ten seconds was more than enough, and somehow we still came through.
“I don’t remember locking. In Turn 1 with Carlos [Sainz] in Imola, I went off the apex and slid into him. It didn’t feel like that.
“So I was going to come onto the radio but dreamt a little. I chose to say nothing. I went pretty dark and decided to keep pushing and make up for it.”
The return to form of Ricciardo has come too little too late for his McLaren career, with the 33-year-old set for a year away from the grid after having his contract terminated.