Daniel Ricciardo says he has “a lot of emotions” following his sensational victory in the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix.
Ricciardo made the most of a mid-race safety car and race strategy to charge from sixth to the lead of the race and claim his and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s first win of the year.
The victory comes a day after Ricciardo’s team narrowly avoided missing qualifying after replacing the Australian’s power unit following a failure in final practice.
“That was fun, a lot of fun and I just about believe it now,” said Ricciardo. “From where we were yesterday you would not have believed we would be here today. For me this is a massive reward but for the mechanics and engineers, they really earned this victory.
“Not only for the pit stops and strategy today but for getting me out in Qualifying yesterday which enabled me to get in the fight for victory, they should be very, very proud.
“The problem in free practice wasn’t their fault but they did all the hard work and made today happen.”
Ricciardo trailed both Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport cars and his team-mate Max Verstappen in the early stages of the race but following a brief safety car period, Ricciardo pulled off a series of audacious moves on fresh soft tyres to claim the sixth win of his career.
“At the start of the race I thought we could fight for a podium but I didn’t really expect a win; then after the safety car and when I could see the way the race was going I knew we had a chance.
“Once I had a sniff of victory I wasn’t going to let it go. The team made a very quick decision to stop both cars under the safety car and it was a winning decision. I have lots of emotions.
“On the in lap I was just smiling and I didn’t have many words, then on the podium I was nearly in tears and in the press conference I was just thinking about the whole race and also about last week; how disappointed this sport can make you feel but also how high it can make you feel.
“Now we can all go and celebrate tonight.”