Ricciardo buoyed by beating McLaren even if Renault don't know how!

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Daniel Ricciardo was greatly satisfied to beat McLaren and finish 'best of the rest' at the US Grand Prix.

The Australian continued Renault's strong end to the season with what would have been a third top-eight in a row had the team not been disqualified from the race in Japan.

And at a race where the 'Honey Badger' feels very much at home, it was how he achieved P6 that was most pleasing.

“The start was fun and the first lap was cool,” Ricciardo said. "I went back and forth a bit with Lando [Norris]. Initially got him, he got me back and then I got him a few laps later.

“Then he could see that his one-stop was not going to work behind me, so they called him in for a two-stopper.

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“Actually just before that [Alex] Albon had boxed for a two and I know that he has more pace with the Red Bull but he came back through us so quickly.

"So when I knew that Lando had pitted for a two-stop, I feared that the last few laps of the race were going to be not too fun," he admitted. "He got on my gearbox in the last corner, but we held him off.

“One more lap and the two stop had us. It was nice to be sixth and beat them and get more points. Two good weekends in a row now, it is nice.”

Interestingly, though admitting the result was "encouraging", Ricciardo also suggested the performance caught Renault by surprise.

“On Friday I was not strong on the long runs, so to come out here and be the best of the rest and to beat the McLarens, even when I think the two-stop was the faster race, in the end, that is really encouraging," he continued via Crash.net.

“So we will try and figure out why, how, but we will take it and go and enjoy it tonight.”

It was a result that also massively helped Renault in the Constructors' standings as they now hold an 18-point lead over Racing Point with just two races left.

Any hopes of catching McLaren for fourth are long gone, with that gap sitting at 38 points, but Norris admitted defeat to Ricciardo was disappointing.

"Up and down, mixed feelings," he reflected. "Obviously P7, P8 as a team is a good result and for myself, P7, I gained one place.

"A bit frustrated that it was Daniel who was ahead of me as those are the guys we want to beat. Today I think we were expecting them to be faster, the Renaults, especially Daniel who was closest to us.

"We almost got him with the alternate strategy, the two-stop. One more corner maybe and I could have had a chance.

"If there weren’t the yellow flags there, I would have given it a shot then. I’m happy, good points for us.

"No unlucky moments, no problems, it was nice to have a clean race and just focus on my job."