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Ricciardo: Monaco 2016 ‘haunted me for two years’

Daniel Herrero

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Friday 22nd May, 2020 - 10:21am

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Daniel Ricciardo on the podium with Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez after the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo has reflected on how the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix fiasco ‘haunted’ him until he was finally able to win the event two years later.

Ricciardo qualified on pole and held sway until Red Bull Racing botched his second pit stop when a miscommunication led to the crew not having tyres ready in time.

The mistake caused the Australian to finish second to Lewis Hamilton, just one race and a fortnight after a strategic mis-step arguably cost him victory also in Barcelona.

He described himself as feeling “screwed” and “not sure where to go” given that Mercedes’ dominance meant that such opportunities were relatively scarce.

“Even four years on, I remember this day in so much detail, it’s like a video in my mind,” wrote Ricciardo in his latest diary entry during the COVID-19 shutdown.

“I can picture myself driving through the corner before the tunnel after THAT pit stop and I was so angry.

“I didn’t want to talk to anyone afterwards, I certainly didn’t want any sympathy… it was just pure rage.

“I remember standing on the podium with Lewis, he’d won a race that I had under control… I just didn’t want to be there.”

Two years after that debacle, Ricciardo led all the way in what was his first Formula 1 triumph in the Principality.

He did so despite dropping two gears and 25 percent of his engine power after an MGU-K failure with three quarters of the race remaining.

“I’m not going to lie, Monaco 2016 haunted me for two years, and then to not put a foot wrong in 2018 and thinking the win would slip away from me again…” recalled the 30-year-old.

“Monaco 2018 was a different level of stress simply because of what had happened there in ’16. The main feeling was sheer relief that this time I didn’t have it taken away from me.

“I enjoyed it more the days after the Sunday when it all sunk in, but that Sunday night – I was just burned out. It was more a massive exhale than anything else.”

That would be Ricciardo’s last victory with Red Bull, and indeed his most recent podium in F1 altogether.

After one season with the Renault F1 Team so far, the seven-time grand prix winner has sealed a move to the McLaren F1 Team from 2021.

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