Daniel Ricciardo believes he 'made a statement' with his charging drive to sixth place in the German Grand Prix, not least during his entertaining late scrap with Fernando Alonso.
Starting in fifth place, Ricciardo found himself in 'the wrong place at the wrong time' around the opening bend when Felipe Massa and Kevin Magnussen's tangle forced him to run off track in avoidance.
Dropping him to 15th at the end of the opening lap, Ricciardo nonetheless proceeded to make impressive gains up the order, indulging in a determined battle with the similarly charging Lewis Hamilton initially en route to a peak of fifth place.
However, it was the Red Bull Racing driver's rousing defence of the position from an evidently faster Fernando Alonso on fresher tyres that kept fans entertained, the Australian repeatedly fighting back against the former world champion's attempts to pass with some close, but clean racing.
Eventually ceding the position with five laps remaining, Ricciardo nonetheless remained on Alonso's tail to the chequered flag to be classified in sixth place.
Labelling it was one of the most enjoyable races of his career, a happy Ricciardo says it is battles with Alonso that he thrives.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time [at the beginning], but I wasn't as worse off as Massa, so I hope he is OK. When that collision happened I had to avoid it, so I don't know how far back I went to.
“I got onto the radio and said 'let's make an amazing recovery and make ourselves proud', which I think we did. We fought hard and didn't leave anything on the table, so I think we made a bit of a statement.”
“It was awesome fun - one of my most enjoyable races… These are the moments and battles I personally thrive off and enjoy. Fernando is known as a tough racer, so I thought who better than to have a fight with. I was on the prime and he was on the fresher option, so I was the underdog, but I gave as good a fight as I could.
Ricciardo's efforts mean he retains third position in the overall standings, nine points ahead of Alonso and 15 points ahead of three-time podium winner Valtteri Bottas.