Australian Daniel Ricciardo beat McLaren teammate Lando Norris for the first time this season as he recorded his equal best result of 2021 in the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix.
Norris also drove a strong race to finish eighth, with both drivers improving their grid position by one place.
The race was won by Lewis Hamilton, who extended his championship lead over Max Verstappen to 14 points.
Red Bull’s Verstappen finished in second, with Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas third.
“Alright alright,” Ricciardo wrote on Instagram after the race.
“Sixth place. Solid race.”
Commentator Martin Brundle said it was the Aussie’s “best day” on the track this year.
“It was a better weekend,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports.
“The start was good, and that got me in front of a couple of faster cars … that meant I had to defend pretty much the whole race.”
Starting from seventh on the grid, Ricciardo passed two cars on the 600-metre run to the first corner to be fifth before succumbing to the pace of Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
Staying out for a long stint on his opening set of tyres, Ricciardo at first was able to grow his advantage over Perez after the pit stop phase, with several seconds and a car between the two.
But the new tyres suited the Red Bull, with Perez able to close the gap to the Australian and get within DRS range, trying to make a move at the end of lap 33.
Ricciardo was warned by race control for weaving across the track after defending from Perez into turn one on lap 40.
Perez finally got the better of the McLaren driver on lap 46, braking later than Ricciardo and taking him on the outside of turn one in a brilliant pass
Ricciardo pitted at the end of the next lap to put on faster soft-compound rubber for the final 18 laps, and had dropped to eighth by the time he left the pit lane.
But with fresher tyres he was easily able to reclaim those positions, including a pass on Norris, before he held off the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in the final laps.
In last month’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Ricciardo was ordered by his team to let Norris pass, but in Barcelona the roles were reversed, in a sign of his improved performance.
“With (Perez), I was doing as much as I could for as long as I could, and then obviously he got me, and then I had Carlos for the last quarter of the race,” Ricciardo said.
“We didn’t have the pace today, but it was nice to at least hold off a faster car and just put a better weekend together.
“I’m happier … it was a smoother weekend, and definitely the best one of the year so far.”
Norris tweeted that he was “satisfied with the race today”.
“I know it didn’t look too good, but we did everything we could to make it good,” he added.
Ricciardo sits seventh in the drivers’ standings on 24 points, with Norris fourth on 41 points.
The F1 circus moves on to Monaco next, a race which Ricciardo won in 2018.