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Ricciardo top-step return makes the ‘crappier days worth it’

Ricciardo top-step return makes the ‘crappier days worth it’

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Daniel Ricciardo has claimed his Italian Grand Prix win “means everything” following a tough start to life with McLaren.

Ricciardo ended a 67-race wait for victory at Monza on Sunday, with his previous win more than three years ago in the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix when he drove for Red Bull.

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In leading home team-mate Lando Norris, the Australian spearheaded McLaren’s first one-two since the 2010 Canadian GP, a year before Ricciardo made his F1 debut.

Reflecting on the magnitude of his achievement, particularly given the troubles he has encountered since joining McLaren from Renault at the start of the year, the 32-year-old said: “It means everything.

“I definitely try not to make or dictate my life happiness around the sport because it’s been three and a half years since I won, so I’d be pretty miserable most of the time if I just based my happiness on winning races.

“Through it all, a lot has happened since Monaco 2018, so to be back in this moment, that’s why we love the sport. It makes all those crappier days worth it. It’s as simple as that.”

Speaking soon after the eighth win of his F1 career, Ricciardo added: “There’s a high that you get from this moment right now.

“I’ll probably watch this interview in a few days and I’ll be like ‘Oh, I actually said that?’ I’m still floating right now, to be honest.

“That’s what it does and that’s what draws you back. It’s wild.”

Ricciardo never lost faith

Third-place finisher Valtteri Bottas, promoted to the podium after Sergio Perez was handed a time penalty, suggested the high Ricciardo was feeling was due to drinking the sparkling wine from the podium.

After performing his signature ‘shoey’, Ricciardo joked: “Ha! Valtteri thinks it’s the bubbly. There is probably a bit of that.

“It’s just wild but I certainly… There have been lows this year but deep down I never lost faith or the belief.

“I think I also just needed to step back and I think that’s where having some time off in August helped. I truly think that helped to get to this position.”

A. F1

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September 15, 2021 at 04:43PM

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