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"I've just been sandbagging," jokes Ricciardo

NEWS STORY
13/09/2021

Monza winner, Daniel Ricciardo savours his first victory since Monaco 2018, joking that his struggles earlier in the season were simply him sandbagging.

At the start of the weekend, asked about his recent return to form, the popular Australian put it down to the summer break, claiming that the three weeks had allowed him to re-set.

While some may have had their doubts, following his win at Monza, when he led McLaren's first 1-2 since Canada 2010, they may have to think again.

"I've just been a sandbagging SOB the whole year," joked the 32-year-old. "I mean thirds, fourths, fifths... you might as well just win, so that's what I did!

"Honestly, the August break was good just to reset so I felt better the last three weekends," he added. "To not only win but to get a 1-2, it's insane. For McLaren to be on the podium, it's huge, let alone one-two."

Indeed, it is especially if one casts one's mind back to those years in the F1 wilderness with Honda.

"To be honest even if we got the start it was never a guarantee we'd lead the whole race, but I was able to hold first out front in the first stint," he said of the race. "I don't think we had mega speed, but it was enough just to keep obviously Max behind.

"There was safety cars, there was this and that," he continued, "but to lead literally from start to finish, I don't think any of us expected that.

"There was something in me on Friday, I knew something good was to come."

Of course, the return to the podium, meant the return of the infamous shoey, and while teammate Lando Norris and team boss, Zak Brown partook, Valtteri Bottas understandably abstained.

The Australian subsequently revealed that the win will hopefully allow him to realise two long-held dreams.

The first follows a promised made by Brown which will allow him to drive Dale Earnhardt's NASCAR owned by the American.

However, rather than just drive it, Ricciardo is hoping that Brown might make a gift of it.

"I'm like, maybe getting a car," he grinned. "Because it was always, 'you get a podium, you get to drive it', we never talked about a win!

"I gave him my shoe that he drank out of, so maybe he gives me the car. It's a good trade!

"There's like a couple of things today, with two heroes," he continued. "Dale Earnhardt is a big hero of mine, and to have the chance to get behind a wheel of one of his cars is crazy. That'll certainly be a kind of pinch me moment.

"Then the other one was - I'm sorry if I sound a bit self-absorbed right now - but when I think McLaren, I think of Senna. That's the early memories.

"I've seen the trophies in the cabinet at the MTC, and to have a winning trophy now with my name in pretty much the same cabinet is crazy.

"So these are two little things today which I certainly appreciate, and they're two little surreal moments that I guess have hit me."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 13/09/2021 14:20

"We were discussing Monza, the sprint and the possibe outcome. My youngest son asked what was going to happen at the start and how the race would pan out.For a laugh I told him that DR would mug Verstappen before the first corner and take off into the distance and then Verstappen and Hamilton would take each other out and that DR would win handsomely. We laughed at this seemingly impossible reality and finally agreed that if DR actually finished top 5 we'd be over the moon...and in front of Norris as well. Then it happened..... very spooky hahaha. "

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2. Posted by kenji, 13/09/2021 14:10

"@Wokingchap....well said. How very true."

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3. Posted by Wokingchap, 13/09/2021 11:33

"VERY well done mate, an excellent drive and Lando too, bloody brilliant......we've all waited so long for this great occasion. Thankyou."

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