Daniel Ricciardo says his lost win at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix “haunted” him for two years until he secured a redemptive victory at the 2018 event.

Ricciardo looked in command of the 2016 race having led the first stint from pole position, but he cruelly lost the lead to Lewis Hamilton when a botched Red Bull pit stop that cost him crucial time.

Mercedes driver Hamilton went on to claim his second victory around the streets of Monte Carlo, while Ricciardo had to settle for second place.

Following a third-place finish a year later, the Australian made amends at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix with a dominant performance throughout the weekend - although even then he had to battle a mid-race engine problem to secure the win.

“I’m not going to lie, Monaco 2016 haunted me for two years,” Ricciardo wrote in his latest ‘diary’ series of columns on his social media accounts.

“Then to not put a foot wrong in 2018 and thinking the win would slip away from me again…

“With Monaco, if you hold the lead into the first corner from pole, it’s yours to lose in a way, the race is in your hands.

“But 2018 was a different level of stress simply because of what had happened there in ’16. The main feeling was sheer relief that this time I didn’t have it taken from me.

“I enjoyed it more the days after the Sunday because I was just burned out. It was a massive exhale than anything else.”

Ricciardo continued to describe the “pure rage” he felt after the 2016 race, adding: “Even four years on, I remember this day in so much detail, it’s like a video in my mind.

“I can picture myself driving through the corner before the tunnel after THAT pit stop and I was so angry.

“I wouldn’t have minded having a mechanical so I didn’t finish, I didn’t want to talk to anyone afterwards, I certainly didn’t want any sympathy… it was just pure rage.

“I remember standing on the podium with Lewis, he’d won a race that I had under control… I just didn’t want to be there.

“I had a moment of clarity in the media pen afterwards, where I thought that if finishing second at Monaco is the worst day in my life, then I should probably wake up, so that was when the anger started to turn into disappointment.

“I wanted to be alone in my drivers’ room afterwards but Helmut [Marko] came to see me, and he was heartbroken. He just said ‘sorry’ and gave me a hug, and there was no way I could react aggressively to that. He was hurting as much as I was.

“I went home after that because I didn’t want to hear anyone apologising and I didn’t think anything good could come from me pointing the finger either when I was angry. It’s what made two years later so sweet.”

 

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