Daniel Ricciardo was left in a state of shock after claiming his first ever grand prix victory in Canada today.
The Australian driver started sixth on the grid, but made the most of Mercedes’ problems with the W05 Hybrid car to pass Nico Rosberg with three laps remaining and win the race in Montreal.
Speaking to 1995 Canadian GP winner Jean Alesi on the podium after the race, Ricciardo was left with little to say.
“I’m still a bit in shock,” he began. “This is ridiculous… Lots of Aussie flags, it’s nice. The race really came to life in the last 15 to 20 laps. We saw Hamilton had a problem, and then we saw Rosberg was slow on the straights. I was really struggling to get past Perez, they had a pretty good car down the straight and he was holding me off well in the corners.
“We finally got a run out of the last chicane and made a nice move into turn one, and then set my sights on Nico. Then yeah, a couple of laps to go, just found myself in the right spot to get the DRS, and yeah… it’s just an amazing feeling right now. Really, really grateful for this.”
Ricciardo’s win has elevated him to third place in the drivers’ championship behind the two Mercedes drivers, and he has become just the fourth Australian winner of a grand prix, following in the footsteps of Jack Brabham, Alan Jones and Mark Webber.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”