Italian GP: Daniel Ricciardo 'overwhelmed' as driver ends his and McLaren's victory droughts
Daniel Ricciardo's last F1 win? 2018. McLaren's? 2012. The Australian driver speaks to Sky Sports F1 after ending two droughts on one incredible Sunday afternoon at Monza
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 12/09/21 7:23pm
Daniel Ricciardo said he felt "overwhelmed" by winning the Italian GP as he ended his three-year wait for another F1 victory and McLaren's nine-year drought in one fell swoop in a sensational performance at Monza.
With McLaren having put Mercedes and Red Bull on notice through the sprint weekend that they were a true threat at the front around high-speed Monza, Ricciardo turned his front-row start into the race's lead soon after the lights went out as the Australian powered past Red Bull former team-mate Max Verstappen.
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Ricciardo stayed ahead of the Dutchman through the first stint and then was still ahead when Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crashed out together at half distance.
Keeping his nerve from there as team-mate Lando Norris moved into second to form a team one-two, Ricciardo claimed the eighth win of his career but first since May 2018 when he drove for Red Bull.
Having experienced a tough on-track transition to McLaren's car since joining from Renault at the start of the year, in which Norris had hitherto achieved the team's big results, a delighted but reflective Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1: "I'll be honest, I don't think it's actually sunk in yet.
"It's actually probably the first time I've been overwhelmed by winning. I think as well because it's been over three years. Not that this affects me, but I just know that no one would have expected this to happen this year, especially after the first half of the year.
"It's easy to lose confidence and lose your way but I think that's about putting things in perspective and everything comes to fruition.
"Knowing deep within yourself that it can happen, and just never doubt yourself. If you truly love something and believe in it, then never doubt yourself. Some of the speed bumps along the way make moments like this so much sweeter."
McLaren's own road back to the front has been more arduous.
The second-most successful team in F1's history, Sunday's triumph was the Woking outfit's 183rd yet their first since November 2012 when Jenson Button won in Brazil.
Finishing a lowly ninth in the Constructors' Championship as recently as 2017, McLaren have worked their way back towards the front under the leadership of Zak Brown and Sunday's one-two was a triumph for that revival.
Team boss Andreas Seidl, celebrating his first victory in charge, said: "There was a lot of pressure today because we knew we had a good car and we knew that if me managed to stay ahead of one of the cars at the beginning, or overtake, that there is actually a chance to do something big.
"To see how the team delivered under pressure was impressive and very happy with that. There will be some big celebrations tonight!"