Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo: “I wanted to close my eyes and start crying” when MGU-K Arose

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Daniel Ricciardo - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Daniel Ricciardo feels he ‘got some redemption’ after winning the Monaco Grand Prix despite having an engine issue for the majority of the race.

The Australian controlled the whole weekend as he was fastest in every session and secured his second career pole at the Circuit de Monaco, but unlike in 2016, he found a way of staying in front until the chequered flag.

Ricciardo got off the line well and held off the Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel into the first corner and kept his led after the pitstops.

“Wow, it still hasn’t sunk in,” said Ricciardo.  “It was a perfect weekend but a crazy race.  It’s such a long week and because I get so excited for this race, I find it hard to control myself and I just couldn’t wait for the lights to go out today.

“The start went well and I thought, I’ve pretty much done the hard part so let’s just finish this race.”

Ricciardo had a comfortable gap to Vettel behind and was even asking about Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton on the radio before his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing hit problems with the MGU-K.

“Then on lap 28 I exited a corner and felt like I pretty much had no power,” said the Australian.  “When it was clear that it was an MGU-K issue I wanted to close my eyes and start crying as I thought the race was over and I wondered just what I have to do to win here.

“I spoke with my engineer on the radio and we changed a lot of things that didn’t fix the problem but we just had to survive with the problem and keep Seb behind.  We had a lot less power, fortunately, it’s a tight track and we had a good car so I could make up enough time in the corners not to be vulnerable on the straights.”

Ricciardo slowed but was able to keep Vettel and the rest of the field behind him and was relieved to see the chequered flag and write the wrongs of 2016 in the team’s 250th race.

“On any other circuit, there was no way I would have won today,” admitted Ricciardo.  “It wasn’t fun driving like that and I’m pretty exhausted, but very, very happy.

“We finally got some redemption and this is the sweetest feeling.  It wasn’t easy but now I can say I’m a winner here and it’s great to win the team’s 250th race.”

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