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'Merc destroyer' Daniel in mood to party

2014-07-28 08:19

RED BULL’S NO.1: Daniel Ricciardo claimed his second victory of the 2014 F1 season on July 27 at the 2014 Hungarian GP. Image: AFP / Darko Bandic.

ALAN BALDWIN



BUDAPEST, Hungary - Beating Mercedes is a tough job but somebody has to do it. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo stepped up to the plate again on Sunday (July 27) as a man who can.

The young Australian, already in Canada the only driver to have beaten Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to the top step of the podium in 2014, added to that success with a victory in Hungary on July 27.

"This year you are the only Mercedes destroyer," he was told by a local reporter at a post-race news conference. "Good. Someone's got to do it," he grinned in reply. He's always grinning...

The current tally from 11 races stands at Mercedes 9, Ricciardo 2.

SURPASSING VETTEL IN 2014

The 25-year-old is a revelation at Red Bull. He arrived as the replacement for departed compatriot Mark Webber and promptly put team mate and four-times Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel in the shade.

Canada was the first win of Ricciardo's F1 career; in Hungary he showed he was no one-hit wonder.

It was another remarkable drive from fourth on the grid in changing conditions and two pace-car periods. Team principal Christian Horner said over the radio as the Australian whooped and roared in delight as he crossed the line: "Amazing, absolutely amazing, sensational. You deserve that, well done."

Ricciardo, whose wins each came with an overtake three laps from the finish, gasped: "It feels as good as the first, it really does."

The Australian is third overall in the championship, though 71 points behind 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) who raced from a pits lane start to third at the Hungarian GP, Ricciardo is still determined to make it difficult for them.

'KEEP OUR NOSE IN THE FIGHT'

He said: "On a normal weekend, with normal conditions on pretty much all circuits, they've been dominant. I think days such as today, with some changing conditions, some safety cars, it helps us keep our nose in the fight.

"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. In it or not, we still race for the highest position possible."

The 2014 F1 season will continue on August 24 with the 2014 Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps.

For now Ricciardo was determined to make the most of his triumph: "Definitely going to celebrate tonight and party for a few days. Got a few mates here this weekend, so we'll party hard tonight."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 MotoGP season – fresh reports every day.

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