The Australian has struggled to adapt to McLaren’s 2021 F1 car since making the switch from Renault over the winter but enjoyed a breakthrough result in a treacherously wet qualifying at Spa.

With teammate Lando Norris out of qualifying following his scary crash at the start of Q3, McLaren's hopes rested with Ricciardo, who delivered with a brilliant lap to grab fourth on the grid. 

Ricciardo said his performance in tricky conditions was “confidence-boosting” and hopes it will serve him well for any future wet running this season.

“I would say that getting a result like this in these conditions is definitely confidence-boosting,” Ricciardo said.

“If it translates to the dry, who knows. But from just a pure level of confidence and moving forward, I think if there is another race that we go to with wet or tricky conditions, I feel I’m going to jump in the car already with more of an understanding of what to expect.

"In Q1 I was quite a bit off the pace. Then I made steps through the sessions. So jumping into a qualifying session in the wet and knowing that I will be closer in Q1 already, that builds a lot of confidence for me moving forward.”

Ricciardo improved as he grew in confidence as qualifying went on and left it late to jump up to fourth with his final lap of Q3.

“It was a good session, if I look back, obviously the end result is good,” he added.

"And to get that in these conditions because these conditions definitely require a significant amount of confidence and feel with the car.

“I chipped away at it. I was definitely a bit off in Q1. Then in Q2 I made a good step, and by Q3 I was getting better and closer to the edge. Maybe if there was Q4 I would be further up again!

“But generally happy [to] come back from the break and get out on the front foot, have a good solid session in the wet, and keep it steady. We are at the pointy end which is nice.”