The Renault had struggled at times in practice, and although the 30-year-old insisted that he wasn’t too concerned about that, he was pleased to have performed so well in Q3.
He said: “I wasn’t too worried about yesterday, but I didn’t think we’d make that much of a jump to match the McLarens.
“It was good qualifying and a good car. Seventh is definitely a good one, particularly having both cars in Q3 after Austria.”
Ricciardo added that he will have Vettel in his sights in the race proper tomorrow, but added that he will be content to stay ahead of the McLarens and earn some much-needed championship points for Renault.
He stated: “I think he’d [Vettel] need to have a pretty average race. I’ve been there with a faster car and even if it doesn’t feel like it’s normally going well, you’ve still normally got enough to keep our pack behind for now.
“I’d like to target him but I think we’ll want to hold onto this seventh and get some points back on McLaren.”
Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg also reached Q3, finishing the session in tenth position.