Starting from 16th on the grid, Ricciardo found himself up to 12th within the opening laps of the race after making a good start before gaining a place thanks to Haas’ unscheduled pit stop for Kevin Magnussen.

Ricciardo’s race was made during the switch to slick tyres, with McLaren deciding to keep him out while his midfield rivals stopped first.

Daniel Ricciardo - WHERE NEXT? | F1 2022

Fortune went Ricciardo and Lando Norris’ way after the Safety Car was deployed on Lap 36 after Yuki Tsunoda’s crash at Turn 10.

The timing of the Safety Car allowed both McLaren drivers to stop and lose less time in the pit lane (as the other drivers were driving at a slower speed due to the Safety Car), rejoining in fourth and fifth, where they ultimately finished.

Reflecting on the race, Ricciardo said: “I’m certainly in a position where I would honestly take it any way I could. Like I said, 50:50 today, I do feel like we earned a big chunk of it, but I’m not going to apologise for fortune, race situation, none of that because I feel like things haven’t always worked out for us this year. 

“So I’m very happy, just to execute a clean race and pick up some points.”

It was Ricciardo’s first top five finish of the year and a result that moves him up to 11th in the drivers’ standings.

Ricciardo admitted it was important not to make an “emotional decision” when deciding when to switch to the dry tyres.

“It’s up there,” Ricciardo replied when asked if it was his best race of the year. “I feel it was a 33-year-old drive in terms of being at times… I didn’t have the pace as the track started to dry on the inter, I was starting to get a bit antsy like ‘Guys I’m not that quick right now, let’s put a slick on and see what it does’, but then it was OK that’s kind of an emotional decision so we kept the conversation going and I think that’s ultimately what put us in a top five position. 

“It helped with a good start and a good first lap, so certainly I take some of that credit, but I think just having good dialogue made it… It’s not often you come from 16th to fifth here, so I’ll take it. This and Australia, I had fun in Australia too, it was nice to get a good one at home.”

It was also a big result for McLaren, who moved ahead of Alpine for the race for fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon retired through mechanical issues, allowing McLaren to move four points clear in the F1 standings with five races remaining. 

“It’s big, because obviously I’m aware the championship situation and the lack of points I’ve been able to get this year has certainly been pretty sad,” he explained. “So to contribute on a day when we certainly needed to with both Alpines retiring, that was big for us. 

"I’m happy to have done my job for sure.”