Ricciardo: “It’s been a long time between drinks!”

by Megan Cantle

Red Bull Racing driver, Daniel Ricciardo, ended his drought of wins at yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, completing the team’s first 1-2 finish since the final race of 2013.

The Australian fan favourite was understandably overjoyed with his victory, becoming the fourth driver this season to win a race. “What a day,” he commented, “I’m feeling a bit emotional and overwhelmed! It’s been a long time between drinks!”

With his win, Ricciardo had the eyes of the world watching to see whether the podium would include another infamous ‘shoey’ and fans were not disappointed, with Max Verstappen, Nico Rosberg and Christian Horner all getting involved too:

“A couple of weeks ago I said we’d win a race this year but to be honest I didn’t expect a win to come at this circuit. This is probably the sweatiest race to win and do a shoey, but for me it’s not so bad, I felt a bit sorry for the others though having to drink from my shoe, but the crowd was encouraging me!”

Commenting upon the race, Ricciardo knew that it was key that the team took advantage of the relatively poor weekend for Mercedes, similarly to how they had done at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier in the year:

“We had an opportunity today that we needed to capitalise on and I was determined to not let it go.”

He also mentioned the on-track battle he had with teammate Verstappen, where both drivers managed to execute some good, clean racing:

“We had a good battle with Max, he is a hard racer and we have that in common. We fought hard and aggressive but I think we showed we can push to the limit but still keep it on the track. We had a fair and clean fight and I think we both enjoyed it.”

“My tyres were a little more tired than his but I was going to hold him off as long as I could. When the Virtual Safety Car came out and we both came into the pits for new tyres, that made me a little more comfortable for the last stint.”

The Australian driver also seemed positive about the overall performance of the team throughout the 2016 season, having won two races and several podiums for both drivers.

“This year has been an awesome year of progression for the team. We started the year a step higher from last year and kept going and getting better, and it really is amazing to win at this circuit. I want to thank the team for making this all possible and I’m very grateful for today.”

Ricciardo mentioned the controversy of the Monaco Grand Prix, where he started on pole to lead to race, only to be let down by the pit team who didn’t have his tyres ready, which lost him the overall win.

After Monaco I had a lot of mixed emotions and it was a hard one to take but I felt as a team we came through that stronger and better.”

“I want to thank my parents and my sister as well for the support they gave me growing up. I also want to dedicate the win to Jules (Bianchi), I have been waiting for a victory to dedicate to him. My life definitely changed since that incident and I am extremely grateful and appreciative of everything I’ve got.”

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