On-song Ricciardo feels right back at home

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Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he won the Italian GP at Monza while crooning to himself in the driver's cockpit of his McLaren - and he's not ruling the possibility of being on song again for the rest of this year's F1 Championship now he's rediscovered his taste for 'shoey' champers.

The Australian's triumph at Monza, completely unexpected amid an unproductive and challenging first campaign with his British team, seems to have restored all of Ricciardo's old ebullience as he refuses to rule out the prospect of more victories this season.

But he admitted that it might be a bit too much to ask for back-to-back wins in Sochi as he joshed with a reporter on Thursday: "Ah, come on, mate let's just chill for a bit!

"We're just going to keep doing our best. Victory aside, I've felt better you know the last few weekends, I've felt more comfortable and of course just excited to come racing."

Reflecting on his superb Italian job on Thursday in the paddock at Sochi, where he's been so relaxed that he's been showing off his table tennis prowess, the Perth ace recalled how, during his first GP victory for three years, he was re-acquainted with the "calm" sensation that "it all felt very familiar, it felt like home."

Talking to SkySports, he recalled: "I'll tell you, there were moments in the race when I was just singing to myself, like I was just having fun.

"You could say I was just feeling it - and that was really nice to be back in that position again after so long, and for it to feel normal and natural."

As he listened to Majid Jordan's 'A Place Like This', while tapping on the wheel, Ricciardo felt in total control.

"That wasn't a lack of concentration," he said. "In a way, it was a kind of like hyper-concentration that I could enjoy a little bit of free time on the straight."

What has encouraged Ricciardo, who's still only eighth in the driver standings, is that there's clearly plenty of improvement ahead now he's coming to terms with handling the McLaren.

"I've definitely made steps, and I am driving better - or at least in Monza I drove better than at other moments this year," he said.

"But I know that I'm not perfecting it yet, so that's encouraging. In Monza, I did feel comfortable. I was pretty comfortable, but I'm aware there's still more to come."

Asked if there could be another opportunity to win before the season's out and indulge in his famed 'shoey' celebration, where he sups champagne from his sweaty boot, he mused: "Could be.

"No-one would probably have expected I'd be in a position to win a race this year, especially after the first six months.

"So I look at that and say, 'yeah, could be' and I think I've proved that if we are in that position, I can do it, I can deal with everything that comes with leading - and so can the team."

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