Red Bull’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo claimed his Malaysian Grand Prix win is payback for his Monaco loss earlier in the year when he finished second.
The 27-year-old, who on Sunday celebrated his fourth victory of his Formula One career, won after British driver Lewis Hamilton suffered engine failure, causing him to drop out while he was leading the race with 15 laps to go.
“I’m not really one for believing in a whole lot, but it went the other way in Monaco so I’ll take this today. No hard feelings to Lewis,” Ricciardo said.
“It has been pretty emotional, two years since my last win and we’ve come so close this year. Two weeks ago I said we will win one this year and here you go
Ricciardo, who is third in the Formula One drivers’ standings with 204 points, said it was a demanding race.
“Exhausted, it is such a hot race here. It was a race of challenges. Lewis got the lead and had his problems,” he said.
It was Ricciardo’s first victory since the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, leading a one-two finish with his teenage teammate Max Verstappen.
“Told you I’d win one. Sometimes you just need things to swing your way,” said Ricciardo, whose tears during the Australian anthem played after the race mixed freely with the copious sweat generated in the tropical conditions, which generated track temperatures consistently topping 50 degrees.
“It’s been an interesting, I would say, two years since my last victory and it feels awesome for sure. I am so grateful for it,” he said.
Ricciardo delighted many fans, and disgusted quite a few others, by celebrating victory with his newly adopted tradition of pouring the celebratory champagne into his sweaty race shoe and then drinking it in an act called a `Shoey’.
Not only that, he also convinced team principal Red Bull Christian Horner, plus Verstappen and Rosberg, to also drink from the unconventional vessel.
Asked to comment on the flavour, Ricciardo said it had a fruity taste, but Rosberg deadpanned: “I hope he does not win any more races this year.”
Rosberg held onto third place despite incurring a 10-second penalty for an aggressive passing move on Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on lap 38. Raikkonen placed fourth, extending Ferrari’s winless streak this season.
The next race is in Japan next weekend, with Rosberg eager to press home the advantage over Hamilton in his quest for his first championship.