Daniel Ricciardo shared a hilarious joke with former Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta about sweat in particular areas on his race suit.
The Australian raced in his home country for the first time since 2019 in Melbourne, and scored his first points of what has thus far been a difficult year for his McLaren team under the new technical regulations.
He ended up sixth, just behind team-mate Lando Norris, and he is relieved to get off the mark in 2022.
“[I am] satisfied enough I would say,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s by far our best result of the season, personally and as a team result so it was good.
“I think the first part of the race I thought maybe we had a bit over Mercedes and we were kind of there with them and holding their DRS, but then as the race kind of progressed, that was probably our pace.”
The 32-year-old got to within a second of the Briton at the end owing to a couple of issues for Norris, but he was advised to hold station as McLaren prioritised bringing the cars home as they were.
“It looked like a bit of a photo finish. I was told Lando had issues towards the end,” he said.
“Obviously he slowed down quite a lot so the team said ‘be sensible,’ so I had to control myself a little hit but of course a fifth and a sixth is a massive result for us so far this year.
“If you would have said this in Bahrain I probably would have laughed sarcastically, so [I’m] very happy with this progress.”
Multiple changes were made to the Albert Park track this year in a bid to increase the volume of overtaking but, such was Ricciardo’s isolation out on track that he did not get to sample whether it has improved the wheel-to-wheel spectacle.
“I mean the last part of my race was a little lonely so I don’t know how it was throughout the field,” he added.
“I have the feeling it was a step better but [the organisers] can probably get a bit more out of it, so yeah.
“I don’t want to say we’ll rethink it and retry it but [it’s] still kind of tricky to really make a move the braking zones are still a hit short but obviously crowd was in full force so hopefully they enjoyed it and that’s the main thing.”
The Woking side have suffered fundamental performance issues with their car since the beginning of the season in Bahrain despite a promising pre-season test in Barcelona.
However, quintessential of his optimistic personality, the eight-time race winner always believed they could recover the situation.
“It’s better,” he affirmed.
“After the first two weekends I was still quite upbeat and positive and everyone was like ‘why are you so happy right now?’ but I know it can turn around so quickly in this sport and with rule changes we’re still trying to get on top of the car and no one really knows all there really is to know about it.
“I was aware that we could have a weekend like this… maybe not this soon but soon enough so I’m happy that we’re able to do it here and we’ll] just keep chipping at it.
“There’s still things I can get better at but all good.”
Formula 1 heads to Europe for the first time in two weeks at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and the Australian suggests that it will be a few rounds before the inevitable upgrades begin to have a meaningful impact.
“It is for sure,” he stated.
“I think having a week off helps. It gives you chance to bring a little bit, so potentially [we] might get a bit more for Imola but yeah it’s probably when I’d say when we get to the thick of the European season, maybe race eight or something we might have a bit more to show but for now we’ll take it.”
Di Resta, who now works as a pundit, spotted a couple of sweat patches in some slightly uncomplimentary areas.
“Not the most flattering suit to show sweat is it?” he amusingly asked.
“It looks like I’ve p***** myself!” replied the Australian.
Ricciardo’s first points finish of the year sends him up to 11th in the Drivers’ Championship, while McLaren have overtaken Alpine for fourth in the Constructors’ Standings.