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.”