Daniel Ricciardo has called his victory at today’s Belgian Grand Prix a “dream” after pouncing on an intra-team clash at Mercedes to claim his third win of the season.
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most famous and popular tracks on the calendar, making any win particularly memorable. Speaking after the race today, Ricciardo made no secret of his delight after taming Spa to beat Nico Rosberg and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas to the flag.
“Yeah, I guess so,” he said when asked if winning was a dream result. “You dream of… there’s a few on the calendar that stand out more than others, and Spa is one of them.
“To be honest, any win is special in Formula 1.”
Ricciardo took the lead of the race when Rosberg pitted for repairs following his clash with teammate Lewis Hamilton, and never looked back, seeing off the German’s advances at the end.
“The first part of the race, we had pretty good pace, and I think on lap one I had the inside of Alonso in turn five, but I locked up and went off so he got me back,” Ricciardo explained. “I was able to get in front a few laps later, and then Seb looked like he just dropped a wheel on the astroturf, exit of turn ten, obviously a bit of rain overnight so it was still a bit slippery.
“Nico came in for a front wing change, and we were able to get into the lead. The pace was pretty good, Red Bull are happy with what we’re doing. The consistency is there.
“It was just really up to me at the end, trying to stay consistent, and keep focus.”
Ricciardo’s stock in Formula 1 has risen considerably this season, where he has been one of the breakout stars. This result sees him draw closer to Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, with the gap now standing at 35 points with seven rounds remaining.
The result will come as something of a welcome surprise to Red Bull, who had originally said that this weekend was about “damage limitation”.