The Australian was happy if somewhat reserved following last Sunday's race, but having since digested the race he believes there were a number of positives to take away from Paul Ricard.
“I wouldn't go direct to say I wasn't satisfied, but it was more, I mean, ninth; it was decent but it wasn't a race where I'm going to go out an celebrate,” he said in Thursday's FIA press conference, attended by Speedcafe.com.
“After actually looking over the race, [in] the days that passed since Sunday, there was actually a few more positives than maybe I immediately realised.
“Straight after the race you're hot, you're still a bit, just feeling the race, if you know what I mean.
“I was having a good battle with Esteban [Ocon], and I was like ‘maybe I can hold him off', and then obviously he got me.
“So being in a battle and not winning, obviously I guess would have been thrown into that [post-race reaction].
“I think we did pick up some positives from it,” he added.
“I think we learned about the new package. I think, genuinely, it's a little bit better everywhere.
“You need time with these packages, you need to really execute everything out of it, or extract everything out of it.
“So confident that we can get a bit more this weekend, and hen we'll see if this track plays to us or not.”
The updates McLaren debuted in Paul Ricard were significant, with dramatically different sidepods the most visible change.
It marks a different aerodynamic philosophy from the team, which is now looking to utilise the downwash off the sidepods to energise the underfloor.
All up, it's hoped it offers additional downforce across both axles, giving the car fundamentally more grip.
“It was kind of just a step in terms of grip,” Ricciardo explained.
“I think we found a little bit more – I know it sounds general, but just in general, just a little bit more in places, like corners, around the track.
“It was just a step, a step in the right direction. That's the honest answer.
“I think specifically, we know where to improve, I don't think that's changed, I think we just got a little bit closer.”
Formula 1 continues this weekend with the Hungarian Grand Prix, the final race before the summer break, with opening practice set to begin at 22:00 AEST this evening.