Daniel Ricciardo admitted he was pleased to fight back into the points following his tough qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.
The Toro Rosso man – widely expected to move to Red Bull for the 2014 season – was amongst those to lose out in the changeable conditions that hit qualifying and started down in 19th place as a result.
However, a solid run on race day saw him come through the field to take tenth place, picking up the final championship point in the process.
While pleased to score a point, Ricciardo admitted that the weekend was something of a missed opportunity, with qualifying having put him on the back foot for race day.
“Sunday was a good day, but we didn't have a great weekend in Belgium,” he said. “We struggled on Friday, messed up qualifying and only got things together on Sunday. There's a few missed opportunities there. That said, I'm happy with the race: taking tenth place and a point having started 19th is a good return.
“Obviously qualifying didn't work out too well, and we had a good discussion about that on Saturday afternoon. It's a very honest environment and everybody realises the best way to move forward is to learn from mistakes. There's no finger-pointing but the discussions are usually very frank. We have to put our hands up, accept we got it wrong and then move forward. Things like this happen and you have to understand them and then concentrate on the next thing.”
Despite the issues faced at Spa, Ricciardo said he was optimistic about what could be achieved in Toro Rosso's home event at Monza next time out in what will be the final round of the European season.
“It's a very exciting prospect because judging on our performance here, we should have a good top speed there and be able to really nail it,” he said. “With a better qualifying performance I think we can score heavily. Last year the second half of the season worked well for us, this year we've come back after the mid-season break and scored straight away again – it'd be nice to keep that moving forward.”