RED BULL'S NO.1? Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo (right) celebrates his victory at the 2014 Canadian GP as Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (second) looks on. Image: (AP/Paul Chiasson)
MONTREAL, Canada - Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo stepped out from the shadow of his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel and onto the podium at the Canadian GP on Sunday (June 8 2014) making a sensational debut as the sports latest race- winner.
Ricciardo moved into the seat left vacant by compatriot and former F1 driver Mark Webber, who retired at the end of the 2013 season. The move has proven to be a very comfortable fit for both Red Bull.
Ricciardo said: "I'm still in a bit of shock, this is ridiculous. "It's not that we were leading the whole race so it's not like I had time to understand that I was going to win. It all happened in the last few laps so that's why I think it's still taking awhile to comprehend it in my head."
'WE KNEW HE WAS QUICK'
Vettel remains the main man at Red Bull but Ricciardo has marked himself out as a driver to watch.
Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, said: "We've been enormously impressed with Daniel, we knew he was quick. We weren't quite sure how quick but we could see from his time in the simulator, test driving for us and his performances for Toro Rosso he had great natural speed."
Ricciardo qualified sixth on the grid and when the Mercedes faltered late in the race the he struck and past championship leader Nico Rosberg on the penultimate lap.
The race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ended behind the safety car after Felipe Massa's Williams smashed into Sergio Perez's Force India as they entered the final lap, allowing Ricciardo to cruise to victory ahead of Rosberg and Vettel.
'HUGE AMOUNT OF DETERMINATION'
Horner said: "We benefited from a bit of misfortune from Mercedes but Daniel had to be there to capitalise on that. Behind that massive smile is a huge amount of determination and steel and he's just getting better and better and it's great to have him in the team and two drivers that are really excelling and working closely and hard together."
Rivalries are quick to develop in the ultra-competitive environment of a F1 team and while Vettel was happy to let Ricciardo savour his maiden win - Vettel will not want to watch his team mate celebrate too often at his expense.
Horner said: "Obviously Sebastian is a competitive guy but he knows what it's like to win his first grand prix. Of course he's happy for Daniel, he's probably frustrated that it wasn't him that won because it was very marginal between the two of them."