Daniel Ricciardo showed flashes of his old-self in a "remarkable" Mexico City Grand Prix weekend, according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
Ricciardo returned from his broken hand in the United States, but with that being a Sprint weekend, expectations were low as he got back up to race-speed following a two-month layoff.
The normal weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was Ricciardo's first chance to piece a full weekend together of the season with the only other non-Sprint being his return in the Hungarian GP in July after Nyck de Vries was ousted.
Ricciardo qualified fourth on the grid, splitting the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and felt fifth was on the cards, if it was not for the red flag caused by Kevin Magnussen's crash.
At the restart, George Russell slipped by while Lando Norris barged past late on as Ricciardo took seventh - AlphaTauri's best result of the season, which moved it off the bottom of the Constructors'.
With Ricciardo's well-publicised goal of returning to Red Bull and taking Perez's seat, boss Horner was full of praise for his former driver.
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Horner full of Ricciardo praise
"It is great to see Daniel performing so well and fully endorses the reason why we brought him back into the AlphaTauri," Horner explained to media including RacingNews365.
"I thought he was outstanding this weekend, fighting Mercedes in an AlphaTauri - and if it were not for the red flag, he'd have finished higher up, so it was a great performance and certainly looked like the Daniel of old this weekend.
"Look at the time delta to Max, it was less than a tenth so a remarkable performance by him.
"He's back to his old self, you can see he is relaxed, he's confident and he came into the weekend fully motivated after a tricky Austin coming back from injury.
"I thought he did a great job this weekend."