'Love for me': Daniel Ricciardo's confession about Emma Raducanu

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·Sports Editor
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Daniel Ricciardo and Emma Raducanu, pictured here after their respective victories.
Daniel Ricciardo was inspired by Emma Raducanu's US pen triumph. Image: Getty

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed how Emma Raducanu's US Open triumph served as inspiration for his drought-breaking victory at the Italian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo won his first F1 race in three years on Sunday and McLaren's first since 2012.

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It came just 24 hours after 18-year-old Raducanu became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a grand slam, taking the trophy at the US Open without dropping a set all tournament.

A keen Formula One fan and self-confessed 'petrol head', Raducanu had attended the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July and said the ever-smiling Ricciardo is her favourite driver.

Ricciardo returned the favour on Sunday, staying up late to watch Raducanu's victory before paying tribute to the British phenom after his own win.

"Thank you, Emma," the 32-year-old Australian beamed after the podium celebrations at Monza when reporters asked him about it.

"I watched the whole game last night. I can say it now, I'm not going to shy away from it. I went to bed at probably quarter to one because I couldn't turn it off!

"It was awesome. I was like, 'I'll watch the start' and then I watched it all, so it was amazing, it was phenomenal and it's awesome that she's a fan of the sport, I think more than anything.

"I appreciate the love for me, Emma.

"But I think also seeing her last night, (she) was not overwhelmed by the stage and just kind of taking it all in and playing with aggression and I think just backing yourself... That's so powerful and it was cool.

"That's why I'm a fan of sport, I love all types of sports because you can gain knowledge from it, you can learn from other sports and the mindset... so congrats to you, Emma. You killed it."

Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here after winning the Italian Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo celebrates after winning the Italian Grand Prix. (Photo by LARS BARON/AFP via Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo leads McLaren 1-2 at Italian GP

Ricciardo's infectious smile and iconic 'shoey' celebration both returned after he led an "insane" one-two for McLaren at Monza, with teammate Lando Norris finishing runner-up.

Ricciardo laughed that it was about time he won another race after having been a "sandbagging S.O.B." all season.

The real Ricciardo showed he was back in business from the start, starting in second but overtaking pole-sitter Max Verstappen, his former Red Bull teammate, into turn one.

This latest success, which Ricciardo celebrated with his familiar champagne-swigging from his sweaty shoe, ended a wait since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix for the English-based McLaren team to top an F1 podium.

"There was something in me on Friday. I knew there was something good to come," Ricciardo said.

"I've just been a sandbagging S.O.B. the whole year. Thirds, fourths, fifths - you might as well just win, so that's what I did!

"Honestly, the August break was good just to reset. I felt better the last three weekends. To not only win but to get a one-two, it's insane.

"For McLaren to be on the podium is huge, let alone a one-two. This is for 'team papaya'. I'm, for once, lost for words."

with AAP

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