Daniel Ricciardo was understandably elated after securing his first race win since 2018 at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix with a masterful drive from the front.
Starting the race from second, the Australian jumped ahead of Max Verstappen at the start and was able to hold the Dutchman off during a controlled opening stint.
Going from the mediums to the hards, Ricciardo maintained his lead after the first stop, before surviving a safety car restart following the collision between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
From there, he was able to hold teammate Lando Norris at arms length, coming home to secure McLaren’s first race win since 2012, and a welcome return to form for him after a tricky first campaign with the Woking team.
Speaking to David Coulthard at the chequered flag, Ricciardo was his typical cheeky self: “Can I swear? I want to swear! About… time.
“It worked well for me yesterday but it was never a guarantee we would lead the whole race. I was able to hold firm out front. I don’t think we had mega speed but it was enough to keep Max behind.
“To lead, literally, from start to finish, I don’t think any of us expected that. There was something in me on Friday. I knew something was good was going to come.
“I have just been sandbagging the whole year! Third, fourth, fifth – you might as well just win! That’s what I did. The August break was good just to reset.
“For McLaren to be on the podium is good but a one-two? This is for team papaya,” Ricciardo concluded.
Formula 1 now takes a week off before returning to the track in Russia.