Daniel Ricciardo says his fifth place finish in the Italian Grand Prix was the "best" Red Bull could hope for at Monza.

Ricciardo, who took his third win of the season last time out in Belgium, qualified down in ninth, but a poor start saw him drop out of the points' positions.

Red Bull, however, opted to stop the Australian late - on lap 26, as opposed to lap 18 for his team-mate, Sebastian Vettel - and that decision paid dividends.

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Indeed Ricciardo was able to charge back in the final third of the race and made the best of fresher rubber relative to his rivals, passing Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Sergio Perez and team-mate Sebastian Vettel to eventually secure P5.

"The strategy helped today," Ricciardo admitted, "it kept the tyres fresh enough to go those extra few laps at the end.

"I saw the cars in front of me pit and the pace was still good enough, so seeing that we didn't have great pace when we were out of position then we thought we would try something different and that's why we went long, which helped towards the end of the race.

"I was more comfortable with the prime tyre and was able to do some good moves, which kept me smiling."

Ricciardo also reckoned that even without his poor start, he probably wouldn't have been able to do better than P5.

"The start wasn't ideal, it's one of the longest runs up to Turn One here from the start line and it's not a place where you want to have a bad one," he explained, "but I dropped the clutch and didn't get the traction.

"We will have to look at that, but we kept a cool head and picked our way back through the field.

"I think [in the end] fifth, even with a good start, was the best we could do."