Daniel Ricciardo has found more success in Monte Carlo than any other Formula 1 track — and the stats prove why.
The Australian driver has registered more F1 points at the Monaco Grand Prix than any other track, narrowly trumping Singapore and China.
Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
“I’m not surprised,” Ricciardo responded when informed of the statistic on the In the Fast Lane podcast.
“It’s a track I’ve loved from day one, from the first lap I ever did around there.”
Ricciardo has only achieved two pole positions in his illustrious F1 career to date, two of which came at Circuit de Monaco.
But the 2016 and 2018 races ended very differently for the West Australian, setting up one of the sport’s most memorable redemption stories.
Ricciardo looked destined to secure his first victory at Monaco in 2016, before slipping into second place because of a shambolic a pit stop error, opening the door for Mercedes champion Lewis Hamilton to ultimately win the event.
Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.Source:Getty Images
“I was filthy,” Ricciardo told the In the Fast Lane podcast.
“I’d done everything right, led every session, qualified pole, then I wake up Sunday morning and it’s raining, and I’m just like, ‘Can’t we just have a straightforward race?’
“Rain is obviously treacherous in any kind of circumstance, but in F1 it’s a lot more tricky and there’s a lot more variables. So throw rain onto already a crazy circuit being Monaco?
“I actually felt that I dealt with the rain really well in the phase of the race it was raining, and then the pit stop — we obviously lost the race because of that.
“I knew I wasn’t going to pass Lewis unless there was a big mistake. I’ve still got images of driving through Turn 7, Turn 8 and definitely not wanting to be there. I was kind of just wishing the race would be over.
“We weren’t a Mercedes — we didn’t have a dominant car. In my mind I was like, ‘Will I ever get the chance to win Monaco again?’”
Thankfully for Ricciardo, that opportunity came two years later when he once again clinched pole position at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix ahead of the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers.
The Aussie felt the mechanically-plagued Red Bull lose its power early in the race, but expertly used the narrow streets of Monaco to his advantage to fend off four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
“Just relief, just like, ‘I’m so glad this is over’. The race was stressful, the whole day was stressful,” Ricciardo said.
“I was just glad to have ticked that box.”
Race winner Daniel Ricciardo,Source:Getty Images
Arguably the most famous photo of Ricciardo’s career came from the team celebrations post-race, diving into a pool with hundreds of screaming supporters watching on.
“That’s where the celebration really started,” Ricciardo recalled.
“For those few minutes, I felt like I guess what a rock star feels like. It was a pretty awesome atmosphere.”
Ricciardo won’t reveal secrets to success as Monaco poses different threat
Ricciardo returns to Monaco for the first time in two years this weekend — last year’s race was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Driving at the glamorous track in McLaren colours for the first time, the 31-year-old is looking forward to adding another chapter in his love-hate history with Monte Carlo.
“I think there is a different style of driving involved (on street circuits),” Ricciardo explained.
“I don’t want to give the secrets away, but a different technique is applied, and I know that I do drive a street circuit with a little bit of a different style.
“There is a different intensity I guess — in Singapore there are a few more corners with a little more forgiveness. Not every corner ends with a wall in Singapore, whereas in Monaco it’s pretty much every corner.
“Monaco is at 100 per cent intensity, Singapore is at 90 to 95 per cent. I think there’s definitely something more that Monaco has.”
Daniel Ricciardo jumps into a pool as he celebrates winning the Monaco Grand Prix.Source:AFP
McLaren will run a one-off livery for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix using the classic Gulf Oil colour scheme.
The British team have ditched their now traditional all-papaya paint job for the blue and orange look made famous on race cars since the late 1960s.
“Of course I love it. It’s cool. I didn’t need another reason to get excited to Monaco so I’ve got to control myself and save some energy,” Ricciardo said.
“So long as you look good, that’s the first box you’ve got to tick and we’re certainly doing that, so I’m really excited.”
Source: Read Full Article