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Daniel Ricciardo Q&A: Breakthrough win truly amazing

08 Jun 2014

Formula One racing got its first new winner since 2012, and its 105th in history, on Sunday as Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo passed the ailing Mercedes of Nico Rosberg to seal his maiden Grand Prix victory in a dramatic end to a thrilling race in Canada.

Ricciardo admits he had to work to keep calm in the closing stages, but the Australian says the champagne will be in full flow tonight - particularly as he has postponed his flight in order to celebrate properly in Montreal...

Q: Congratulations on your maiden race victory. You are known to be a very smiley person, so how long will this one last for you?

Daniel Ricciardo: This one is going to last for a long time! It was an amazing day and an amazing feeling to get my first victory and to stand on that podium. It didn't come easily - it only came in the last few laps. I think it was only in the last eight laps, when I was third...once I got past Perez that I knew that we had a real fight for the win on our hands. Knowing that Mercedes had some problems, it was important for us to capitalise and get this win. I did not want to let this slip out of my hands as it is not every day that you get the chance to win a Formula One race, so I am really glad I pulled it off.

Q: How did you deal with it mentally, realizing that you were closing in on a possible win and that you had the opportunity to make it a reality?

DR: You take it step by step. Once I was behind Perez, I then realised that Nico (Rosberg) was having problems and suddenly he was only seconds in front of us. So I said to myself that the leader is right there, and I just need to find a way past Perez and then we would have a chance to win that race.

At first it was not that I was looking at what Nico (Rosberg) was doing; rather it was about how to get past Perez and from there work out how to get past Nico. Also Seb (Vettel) was close behind, and Massa was closing in. So if I had missed the DRS on Perez I am almost certain they would have had a chance of getting me. I really had to stay on his back, so it was a really high-pace race for everyone.

Q: How sweet does the champagne taste as a winner?

DR: It does taste very sweet. Usually champagne is not my drink of choice, but today I started to love it.

I am truly amazed that we won today, and for the team it is also a great points haul. I could see the joy in their faces thinking back to where we were in February. One of my first thoughts, during the last safety car phase when I knew that this win was mine, was how to celebrate. Then the celebrations got postponed a little bit, as I was really concerned about Felipe and Sergio, but we received confirmation that they could step out of their cars and I was relieved. I know for sure that my family back home in Australia will have watched the race in the early morning hours and will not really sleep tonight. I will probably postpone my flight tonight and maybe have some more of this sweet champagne.

Q: Is this a great omen for Austria, and Red Bull's home Grand Prix?

DR: If we could repeat this result in Spielberg, I think Austria would explode with happiness! I have heard that the race is fully sold out, and I am sure with today's result there are no tickets left whatsoever. This is a great result, and for sure Mr Mateschitz having watched the race from back home is equally happy with all of us. I am looking forward to celebrating with him back in Austria.

Q: At the beginning of the season not many people predicted that you would have such a good start with a new team; are you surprised yourself?

DR: Looking back at where we were in February, I am surprised. But I always knew that if I had the right package I would be able to challenge not only my team mate, but also the frontrunners. So I always kept my spirit up, and I will do so in the future.