`Mercedes destroyer` Ricciardo in mood for party
Budapest: Beating Mercedes is a tough job but someone has got to do it and Red Bull`s Daniel Ricciardo stepped forward again on Sunday as the man who can.
Already the only driver to have beaten Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to the top step of the podium this season, the Australian added to his Canada success with a victory in Hungary.
"This year you are the only Mercedes destroyer," he was informed by a local reporter at a post-race news conference. "Good. Someone`s got to do it," he grinned in reply.
The current tally from 11 races stands at Mercedes 9, Ricciardo 2.
The 25-year-old has been a revelation at Red Bull this season, arriving as replacement for departed compatriot Mark Webber and promptly putting quadruple champion team mate Sebastian Vettel in the shade.
Canada was the first win of the Perth driver`s career and in Hungary he showed he was no one-hit wonder with another remarkable drive from fourth on the starting grid in changing conditions and two safety car periods.
"Amazing, absolutely amazing, sensational. You deserve that, well done," said team principal Christian Horner as the Australian whooped and roared in delight as he crossed the line.
"It feels as good as the first, it really does," gasped Ricciardo, whose wins have both come after making the final overtaking manoeuvre three laps from the finish.
The Australian is third overall in the championship, 71 points adrift of Mercedes` Nico Rosberg with eight races remaining.
If the drivers` title battle looks like a duel between Rosberg and team mate Lewis Hamilton, 11 points behind, Ricciardo was still determined to make it difficult for them.
"On a normal weekend with normal conditions on pretty much all circuits, they’ve been dominant. I think days like today, with some changing conditions, some safety cars, it helps us keep our nose in the fight," he said.
"If you look at today, I closed in on the championship but realistically we’re still a long way off. It doesn’t really change the approach in any case. If we’re in it or not, we still race for the highest position possible."
Formula One now heads off on an August break before returning for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, a driver and fan favourite.
But before then, Ricciardo was determined to make the most of his triumph.
"Definitely going to celebrate tonight and party for a few days I think," he said. "Got a few mates here this weekend, so we’ll party hard tonight."