The pair fought wheel-to-wheel in the closing stages, with Alonso praising the young Aussie for his excellent race craft.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has hailed Daniel Ricciardo’s driving as “unbelievable” following a thrilling duel during the closing stages of the German Grand Prix on Sunday.
Alonso narrowly pipped the young Red Bull racer for fifth place, but told reporters of his surprise at how well Ricciardo has driven since joining the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
“Daniel is a surprise from Australia,” Alonso said post-race.
“He’s doing unbelievable. I think he’s seven-three (in qualifying) in the first 10 races with Sebastian (Vettel), so it’s something we probably didn’t suspect.
“He’s driving fantastically and today he was battling very smart – always taking the slipstream of me after I pass him and braking very late, attacking very late and never missing a corner.
“He was very, very smart, very respectful with the rules and it was a great fight.”
Despite dropping back to 15th place after narrowly avoiding a crash on the opening lap, Ricciardo said the race was one of the most enjoyable he’s been involved in.
“That was awesome fun, one of my most enjoyable races I’ve had,” Ricciardo said.
“I think we made a bit of a statement.”
That was fun! Had to avoid lap 1 crash but charged hard rest of the race. Some badass battles. Good times