Tuesday 14 August 2018

Ricciardo nurses Red Bull home for Monaco win

 

Ricciardo drove for nearly two thirds of the race – some 50 laps – with a car down on power due to problems that emerged on lap 28. Photo: Reuters
Ricciardo drove for nearly two thirds of the race – some 50 laps – with a car down on power due to problems that emerged on lap 28. Photo: Reuters

Alan Baldwin

Daniel Ricciardo brought back memories of Formula One great Michael Schumacher in his prime as he nursed a wounded Red Bull to Monaco Grand Prix victory in the team's 250th race.

Winning from pole position for the first time in his career, Ricciardo drove for nearly two thirds of the race - some 50 laps - with a car down on power due to problems that emerged on lap 28.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, last year's race winner, finished second - easing off towards the finish to save the tyres - to cut Lewis Hamilton's overall lead to 14 points after six of 21 rounds.

Hamilton, the reigning world champion, was third for Mercedes.

"You have done an amazing job today," team boss Christian Horner said after Ricciardo took the chequered flag 7.3 seconds clear of Vettel for his second win of the season and seventh of his career.

"That is right up there with what Schumacher did in 1995 and this is payback for 2016."

Ricciardo's only previous pole had been in Monaco two years ago, when he lost out to Hamilton on strategy and finished runner-up. Schumacher won in Belgium in 1995 with a famously defensive drive on dry tyres in the wet.

"I had half the power it seemed and I felt like it was going to come to a stop," said the Australian. "For a few seconds I just wanted to close my eyes and start crying."

When Ricciardo reported the loss of power, his race engineer responded: "You just need to keep it (engine) smooth, keep focused."

"Will it get better?" enquired the driver. "Negative," came the reply.

From then on, Ricciardo - with Vettel looming in his rear view mirrors - was a model of consistency. Vettel said it had been a tricky race and "Daniel had the answer at all times".

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