Spa (Belgium) (AFP) - Daniel Ricciardo rose above the ballyhoo around him to enjoy the celebrations on Sunday after he delivered the Red Bull team’s 50th victory in Formula One at the Belgian Grand Prix.
It also made him the first Australian winner of the race since Jack Brabham in 1960. The win was his third in six races and moved him to within reach of mounting a title challenge in the final races of the year.
His victory came after the two McLaren drivers, championship leader Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, crashed into each other on the second lap.
Ricciardo said: “There was a bit of pressure, though it probably looked a bit easier because I had the lead early on and I just kept it.
“We couldn't really rest though because I knew Nico Rosberg would be quick at the end, but we held on and it was nice to taste the Champagne again.”
Reflecting on his rapid progress in his first season at Red Bull, he said: “It couldn't have gone better considering everything that's happened, especially during pre-season.
“It's been awesome and I have enjoyed every moment of it. Monza will be challenging, but if Mercedes slip up then we will be there to capitalise."
His Red Bull team chief Christian Horner said: “This was supposed to be a damage limitation race!
“We have managed to find a balance and Daniel has managed to find a confidence in the car that has managed to produce a good lap time.
“Ultimately we benefited from the Mercedes' little get-together, but in like-for-like pace we were not far off them today.
"The incident between the two Mercedes was two guys going for a world championship and going for the same piece of tarmac."