Daniel Ricciardo says he had to “forget pride” when his McLaren team instructed him to let team-mate Lando Norris through for position at Imola last Sunday.
Norris was running behind Ricciardo at the start of the race, however he soon moved ahead following a team order intervention, with the Briton then extending the gap to Ricciardo behind.
Norris went on to secure his second career podium, crossing the line behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in third place.
Ricciardo, who was sixth at the chequered flag, acknowledges that Norris was the faster of the pair during the grand prix, labelling his result as “encouraging” for McLaren.
“Lando got a podium and did a strong race, that is encouraging,” Ricciardo said. “I have to forget a little bit of pride and actually have a look at what I can improve.
“I’m definitely in a productive mindset and not in a defeated mindset. I certainly see the positives and for the team as well. In the second race to get a podium already is a good start.
“I had enough laps to try to show my pace. Initially it was not too bad, and once the track started to dry a little bit I lost the right front tyre.
“It started to grain and that’s when I felt I was not able to go any quicker. The team made the call and as of this moment I have to accept that because I was not quick enough.
“If I was I would’ve pulled away, so I don’t want to let my pride and ego get in the way of that. Just learn from his race, learn from what they are doing better, and chip away at it.”
While Ricciardo acknowledges that he is not currently driving to the car’s potential, the Australian is adamant that he will unlock more pace as the season progresses.
“In a few months I will probably look back at the start of the season and not be so stressed about it,” he said.
“There are so many races, but in the first two I have been a bit off the pace. Of course I would love to do better at the moment.
“If you’re used to the car in a bit familiar, even last year [Esteban] Ocon, we know he is a fast driver, but it was hard for him to match my pace through a lot of the qualifyings last year.
“It shows that that extra year I had in the car at Renault was beneficial. We are starting to see that now. I’m not defeated or anything, I think it is encouraging that Lando got the podium. He has had really strong pace. So obviously it is there.”