'Haven't forgotten': Daniel Ricciardo's brutal message to teammate

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Seen here, Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren teammate Lando Norris celebrate on the podium at Monza.
Daniel Ricciardo responded to teammate Lando Norris's remark about his lack of speed with the fastest lap at Monza. Pic: Getty

Daniel Ricciardo may have a reputation in Formula One for being fun and easy-going guy but the Aussie has given the world - and his hungry young teammate - a brutal reminder of his ruthless side.

The 32-year-old said he was back in business after breaking a three-year victory drought by winning Sunday's race in Monza in a 1-2 for McLaren.

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The victory was McLaren's first since 2012 when Jenson Button won the Brazilian Grand Prix, and it was Ricciardo's first since he was at Red Bull in 2018.

Ricciardo's euphoria was clear for all to see at Monza and his comments after the race reveal a ruthless competitive side burning inside the driver.

The Aussie's young teammate Norris - who finished less than two seconds behind Ricciardo - complained during the race that the 32-year-old was driving "too slow".

Ricciardo's response was emphatic as the McLaren ace waited until the death to secure a bonus point with the fastest lap of the race.

The Aussie insisted afterwards that he was driving conservatively so as not to compromise his lead, before putting his teammate in his place with a blistering finish.

"It was to remind people that I haven't forgotten (how to do it)," Ricciardo told the BBC.

"I was in control and I just wanted to show it was the last lap and I am not feeling any of the nerves or pressure so I am going to do my fastest lap of the race on the last lap, just to remind people, 'I got this'."

The result was a perfect reply from the Australian to his critics after he'd been struggling to get to grips with his new McLaren and had been overshadowed by Norris since joining from Renault at the end of last year.

Before Monza, Norris had managed top-five finishes in nine out of 10 races, compared to just one for Ricciardo over the same period.

Italian GP win 'insane' for Daniel Ricciardo

To say Ricciardo was relieved to have flipped the script at the Italian GP is an understatement.

"About time," smiled the happy Australian before performing his trademark 'Shoey' — glugging the podium champagne from his sweaty boot and sharing it with second-placed teammate Lando Norris and McLaren boss Zak Brown.

"To lead literally from start to finish, I don't think any of us expected that.

"To not only win but to get a one-two, it's insane. For McLaren to be on the podium is huge."

Daniel Ricciardo is pictured here celebrating his Italian GP triumph.
Daniel Ricciardo was thrilled to break his drought with a win at the Italian GP. Pic: Getty

Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth, said it was staggering to see the McLaren drivers perform so well.

“Days like this shows they are really on it,” Leclerc told Sky Sports.

“I am very happy for Daniel, it is great to see him perform as he would have done last year. He is an incredible driver and it is great to see him back at 100 per cent.

“It’s true that he had a bad first part of the season. Even for us it was difficult seeing him struggling like that compared to Lando. 

"And finally seeing him perform like the Daniel of the last few years like he did, it’s pleasant to see.

“But for us, it is bad news if he keeps performing like this. It is pushing us to try and be perfect every weekend and that is exactly what we will try to do in the next few weekends.”

with agencies

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