Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo has won the Italian Grand Prix in an amazing event filled race that saw the two drivers fighting for the world title taking each other out.
Danny’s struggles since his move to McLaren are well documented. His slow start to the season in the new car while his teammate Lando Norris was fighting up the top end of the grid left many McLaren fans (Not Me) frustrated and wondering if he was the right driver to partner Lando in the car moving into the future. Again, not me, and thankfully not the team themselves. Many from inside the team at McLaren have said all along that “it’s a hard car to get a handle of” and even Daniel himself admitted he was having a hard time coming to grips with it.
But just before the teams and drivers went away for the Summer Break it seemed he was getting a handle on the car. A seventh-place finish in Austria followed by a fifth-place finish at Silverstone seemed to show he was getting a feel for the car. And I think we can all right Hungary off as pure stupidity on Valtteri’s behalf after Dan got caught up in the lap 1 turn 1 incident, which basically ended any chance of a good performance. His form since the return from the summer break is definitely something McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo fans can get excited about.
Everything that has happened up to now in the season for Daniel Riccardo and McLaren has been pointing towards a McLaren race win, but I’m not sure many people or experts would have predicted it would be Daniel that would get McLarens’s 1st win since Jensen Button won the 2012 Brazilian GP. But everything this weekend set up for a memorable Sunday race. And a very memorable podium for not just Daniel but the whole McLaren team.
The way both McLaren drivers looked over the whole weekend is a testament to the work the team has being doing in the garage not just this year but for the past 4 seasons, long before Daniel even joined the team. This weekend was the complete weekend for McLaren. From Lando out qualifying Daniel by .006 of a second, to the way Lando held off Lewis Hamilton in the Sprint Qualifying allow Daniel to finish third and secure a front row start. Zak Brown and everyone at McLaren should be incredibly proud to see both McLaren’s on the podium. And there 1-2 finish is the first team 1-2 finish this season, after years of seeing Mercedes do it, it was so good seeing someone else lock out that top of the podium.
I hope like me, many Australians stayed up to watch Danny Ric secure his 8th F1 Grand Prix win, and while it took a while on the podium, we eventually saw DR3’s signature celebration of a Shooey, and even better that he managed to get teammate Lando Norris in on the actions and McLaren CEO Zak Brown in on the act. He really is the most popular driver in the paddock amongst the other drivers. And I don’t think there was a driver on the grid, who finished the race that didn’t go up and congratulate Daniel in pit lane after the race.
Let’s hope with the speed both drivers have shown in those cars, this isn’t the last time we see Danny Ric on the podium, especially the top step of the podium.