It was a long race day in Jeddah for Daniel Ricciardo, but one that ended to the satisfaction of the McLaren driver who renewed with a top ten finish for the first time since Austin.
On Saturday, Ricciardo felt he had missed out on a good qualifying performance, and the Aussie vowed to move up the order on Sunday.
And the Honey Badger was on a charge from the outset, moving up to fifth after ten laps and by the start of the first caution period. Ricciardo then swiftly negotiated the two post-red flag restarts to push up to fourth.
The McLaren driver held his own just outside the top-three for over twenty laps but succumbed to a pressing Valtteri Bottas with ten laps to go.
"I’m happy with the top five, for sure," said a tired Ricciardo. "It was just a long day!
"I think already the race start is late and then having red flags as well, it’s a very long day so I’m ready for some sleep. But I’m happy, I’ll go to bed happy tonight.
"The red flags in a way were good because the starts were good so I was able to always move forward pretty much, in two out of three starts.
"But I started on the first start with the hard and I think that was the tyre, so once it was a red flag it was a little too used to go again and we were forced to do the rest of the race with the medium and it wasn’t as fast as the hard."
Ricciardo reckoned he could have given Ocon a run for his money had he been running on the hard compound tyre. But overall, the Aussie was satisfied with his round of racing in Jeddah.
"Potentially I could have challenged Esteban, at least a little more with the hard," he concluded.
"But in any case, happy to get a top five and definitely it’s nice moving forward, so no complaints."