Ricciardo: Monza F1 win was mine before Hamilton/Verstappen crash

Daniel Ricciardo reckons he had victory in Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix victory sewn up before Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the race.

Ricciardo: Monza F1 win was mine before Hamilton/Verstappen crash

The Australian scored McLaren's first triumph since 2012 with a surprise win at Monza, as he led home team-mate Lando Norris.

Key to his success was getting past pole position man Max Verstappen on the run down to the first chicane on the opening lap, and then holding his advantage in the early stages.

And while he was concerned about losing his lead during the critical pitstop phase, especially as he was at risk from an undercut, Ricciardo said the moments after his tyre changes were when he knew the win was his.

Reflecting on managing the gap to Verstappen up until the pitstops, Ricciardo said only a late dive from his Red Bull rival was going to cause him any trouble.

"There were some laps where he pushed up closer, but I never really had to properly defend," explained Ricciardo.

"He was there but I knew if I didn't make a mistake it was going to be hard for him to [pass], unless he kind of sent a little bit of a Hail Mary.

PLUS: Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

"I think where I felt I was a little vulnerable was at the end of that stint, where the tyres were going off. But I believe the others were suffering as well. So in my head I was thinking we were going to be vulnerable in that moment.

"I pitted, and I think everyone else pitted as well, so I think we were all struggling at the same moment. And it was then, when we came back out in the lead, then I was like 'alright, we've got this today', like unless something unfortunate happens we can really win this race.

"I think that's when any last bit of belief you need to top it up came, and you're like 'alright, someone is going to have to take it from me today, because otherwise we're winning this thing'."

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, 1st position, is sprayed with Champagne by Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3rd position, on the podium

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, 1st position, is sprayed with Champagne by Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3rd position, on the podium

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Ricciardo says there is no doubt that McLaren's strength at high speeds played a part in its super strong weekend, but he reckons a degree of "rage" he carried after qualifying also helped him on a personal level.

"I think this circuit seems to suit the McLaren well," he said. "It did last year. I wasn't driving it last year but I obviously witnessed the result the team had.

"So I knew that we could come into the weekend with some confidence with that alone. Then probably there were two things with me, like just loving the circuit.

"I've always loved this track, it's always been a fun one, it's one that I typically gelled well with, and then that combined with feeling better, you know, with the car, more recently and feeling a bit more comfortable and confident with it.

"Plus, I think with Friday being so close, I don't know, sometimes I just get angry, like the top three was so close and I think my lap was okay. But there's always parts where you're like: 'I could have done better'.

"Sometimes I just flip. I certainly have a bit of rage and, as I said at the time, I think it will be a blessing in disguise. I think I used it to my advantage for the rest of the weekend."

shares
comments

Related video

Autosport Podcast: Italian GP review

Previous article

Autosport Podcast: Italian GP review

Next article

10 things we learned from F1’s 2021 Italian Grand Prix

10 things we learned from F1’s 2021 Italian Grand Prix
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021