Daniel Ricciardo is a man of his word.
On Sunday at the Russian Grand Prix, he told his team he’d make up for a basic error that threatened his top-five finish.
Not only did he then put his foot down to hold onto fifth, but he did so with ease, more than ten seconds clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in sixth.
The result carried on a strong run of performances for the Australian who had finished fourth, sixth and fourth in the three previous races.
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“I would say the outcome was a good one … but there were certainly some speed bumps along the way, literally,” Ricciardo told Motorsport.com after the race.
Despite a strong start that saw him briefly jump up to third on the opening lap, Ricciardo started slipping down the field, including behind his slower teammate, Esteban Ocon.
But after the first round of pitstops, Ocon failed to pass Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and was told to move aside for the quicker Ricciardo to pass.
That was when Ricciardo made a strange and uncharacteristic error under no pressure.
With Ocon to the side of the track at Turn Two, Ricciardo locked his brakes and ran wide over the kerb before re-entering the track ahead of his teammate.
Despite the overtake being set up, Ricciardo’s re-entry was illegal and earned himself a five-second time penalty from the stewards.
Instead of beating himself up about it, the Australian simply said to his team: “OK, I will drive faster.
“Yeah, that’s my bad. I’ll make up for it.”
And he did, opening a wide gap later in the race to Leclerc to finish fifth, which Ricciardo said was a fair result for the team.
“I made a little extra work for myself, but it was okay,” Ricciardo told the publication.
“I took full responsibility for it. … I just locked up and went wide, and I was like, ‘I’m probably going to get a penalty here’.
“I think I’d already accepted it in my head and I was like, ‘the only way to eliminate the penalty is to go faster, and build a gap to Leclerc behind me’.
“So it was actually quite good in hindsight, it lit a bit of a fire under my bum, and I just got on with it. I think that was cool. I was, I guess, proud to not let it get to me and I think we made a really good race of it after that.”