After losing out in Monaco, karma comes back around for Ricciardo in Malaysia

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Daniel Ricciardo’s victory in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix may have not been without a huge slice of fortune, but the Australian still took great delight in his success after losing out in Monaco earlier this year.

Ricciardo had been poised to clinch the fourth Formula 1 win of his career in Monaco earlier this year, only for a mistake in the pits by his Red Bull team to leave him a disgruntled second behind Lewis Hamilton.

Ricciardo found himself running second behind Hamilton in Malaysia on Sunday when the Mercedes driver suffered an engine failure, forcing him to retire from the race.

With teammate Max Verstappen hot on his tail, Ricciardo was left to soak up the pressure in the closing stages before crossing the line to score his first victory in over two years.

He may have lucked in to the win, but Ricciardo felt it made up for his misfortune in Monaco earlier this year.

“It was a race of challenges. Obviously Lewis got the lead and got his problems,” Ricciardo said.

“I’m not really one for believing in a whole lot, but it went the other way in Monaco. I’ll take this today. No hard feelings to Lewis but I’ll definitely take the win.

“It’s been pretty emotional, two years since the last win. We’ve come so close this year. Two weeks ago after the race I said we’ll win one this year, and here you go, we got this.

“Big thanks to Red Bull Racing, everyone who’s supported us through this journey. I’m extremely grateful for this. Overwhelming to say the least.”

Ricciardo celebrated his victory with his customary ‘shoey’ on the podium, drinking champagne from his race boot, and plans for more celebrations en route to Japan ahead of next weekend’s race.

“I think a few of us are flying tonight so maybe a few little whiskies on the flight and we’ll sleep well and we’ll be in Tokyo tomorrow,” Ricciardo said.

“There are some fine Japanese whiskey over there so we may need to have a day off.”

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.