Daniel Ricciardo was surprised to finish the Brazilian Grand Prix with points after thinking his race was over following a clash with Kevin Magnussen.
The Australian collided with Haas F1 driver Magnussen on Lap 8, resulting in the latter spinning, while Ricciardo was forced to pit his Renault for a new front wing.
Dropping to the rear of the field in the process, matters were made worse when stewards issued Ricciardo a five-second penalty for causing the collision, which was served on lap 25.
Ricciardo quickly began to gather momentum and managed to climb to 11th when the Safety Car was deployed after Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas pulled off the road.
The West Australian was then able to capitalise on a crazy finish to the race that saw Ferrari team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc collide, resulting in a double retirement for the Scuderia.
Ricciardo finished seventh on the road but was promoted to sixth after Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-second post-race penalty for an incident with Alexander Albon, dropping him from third to seventh.
“After the early incident, I would have said ‘no way we could finish seventh’, so I’m quite happy with that,” said Ricciardo.
“I take responsibility for the incident with Kevin. It was close, but I went into him and he spun.
“Sometimes you can do that and it works, but sometimes you touch wheels.
“In that situation you think the race is over, but we kept our heads down and managed a really strong race.
“The safety car restarts were fun and it was good out there. There’s one more to go now and I’m excited for that.”
Ricciardo sits ninth in the championship standings heading into the season finale at Abu Dhabi from November 29-December 1.