Red Bull driver Ricciardo stunned by victory in ´crazy race´

Daniel Ricciardo says he could never have imagined winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a disappointing qualifying result and revelled in his victory following a “crazy race”.

The Red Bull driver was the beneficiary of a loose headrest for Lewis Hamilton, who had seemed on course for the win, while Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel was penalised 10 seconds for shunting title rival Hamilton.

Ricciardo had worked his way into a podium position from 10th on the grid, with the Australian pulling off an audacious move on Williams duo Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll to move into third after the race restarted following a red flag.

And, before celebrating with a customary ‘shoey’, Ricciardo reflected on an incident-packed race.

“It was a crazy race. We knew podium was a possibility after the restart but did I think I would win today? Absolutely not,” he said.

“This is the race we expected last year and we got it today with all the craziness and safety cars.

“Yesterday was disappointing with the mistake but I said we had to stay out of trouble today and that’s what we did.

“It was nice to get one car home and on the top step, so thanks to the whole team.”

Despite Hamilton’s woes, Mercedes had representation on the podium in the form of Valtteri Bottas.

The Finn was last after colliding with Kimi Raikkonen on turn two of the first lap but fought back and pipped Stroll on the final straight to take second.

“A crazy race, so much happening. I was a lap down at the beginning. I had to overtake everyone,” Bottas said.

“It just shows you should never give up.

“I really enjoyed it. I just had fun. It was a shame Daniel was too far away at the end but in the circumstances it was a good result.”

Stroll may have had to settle for third, overtaken by Bottas just short of the line, but he had the consolation of becoming the youngest rookie to earn a podium.

“I am just lost for words,” he said. “I can’t quite realise what just happened.

“We just stayed out of trouble. I took it to the end and just lost out to Valtteri – that may have been one of the closest ends to a race ever!

“I would never have believed I would be here on the podium today!

“Motorsport – it’s a love/hate relationship and the last few races have been tricky but it has all been worth it.”

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