Daniel Ricciardo believes that his charge to fourth place in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix was one of the best races of his career as he fought back from an early puncture.
Ricciardo started second for Red Bull in Shanghai before surging into the lead off the line ahead of Mercedes’ pole-sitter Nico Rosberg.
However, a puncture on lap three caused Ricciardo to drop down the field, leaving him to fight his way back up the order over the remainder of the race.
A switch to the soft tire for the final stint allowed Ricciardo to sweep past many of the midfield runners before eventually finishing the race in fourth place.
“Overall, I’m super happy with my race,” Ricciardo told NBCSN after the race.
“It was probably equal best race of my career. I couldn’t do anything else.
“I knew I could get the start, I did, and doing everything I could. The way I came through the field at the end was awesome. I don’t feel I left anything on the table.
“It hurts to I guess have probably your best race knowing you didn’t get the champagne, but that’s just racing. It’s unlucky.”
Ricciardo was full of praise for the Red Bull as it once again appeared to be the third-fastest team in China, capping off a strong start to the new season.
“The team did an awesome job this weekend,” Ricciardo said.
“We’re fast. We’ve gone to three different tracks now and we’re there. We’re not on Mercedes’ pace but we’re not far off.
“When the opportunity arises, we’ll take it. A bit of unfortunate circumstances got in the way of that today. It’ll come, things will turn around.
“I feel in three races this year, I don’t feel I could have done anything else. Every lap hasn’t been wasted. I’m happy.”