Ricciardo ecstatic after brilliant comeback drive

© XPB 

Following his impressive performance in qualifying yesterday, Daniel Ricciardo missed out on a podium finish in today's China GP in which he finished in P4.

But the Australian, by his own assessment, reckoned he'd enjoyed one of the greatest drives of his F1 career.

The Red Bull driver scrambled off the grid when the lights went green and nailed the lead at Turn 1 in front of Nico Rosberg, but chaos which ensued behind through Turn 3 left parts of debris on the track which Ricciardo picked up, resulting in the Red Bull limping back to the pits with a punctured left-rear tyre.

The Aussie then put his head down to produce a stunning comeback drive which, coupled with his team's optimal strategy play, brought about a rewarding fourth place finish.

" It's mixed emotions right now," admitted Ricciardo.

"I feel that I drove one of the best races of my life, but I’m not spraying the champagne, so it sucks! It hurts! But at the same time I am immensely proud of the way I recovered and the way the team got me back on track.

"We did the best we could. We closed it up. I could see Danny down the back straight in the last few laps. I know I could not catch him.

"Of course for the team it is awesome to finish third and fourth. We should be second, that is a fact, but that is racing. It is unlucky, but it sucks, it really does."

Still, there's no doubt the team's overall package is ramping up its performance slowly but surely, and is now clearly snapping at the heels of Ferrari and perhaps even Mercedes.

"It's really promising for sure, three races in, every weekend we showed a strength at some point and it's been s a strength we didn't think we'd have at this point of the year.

"ItI definitely feels more like 2014, where we do have a lot of potential. So I'll keep fighting."

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Eric Silbermann has breakfast with photographer Crispin Thruston

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