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GP Week : Issue 207
A second Grand Prix win has spotlighted Daniel Ricciardo as Formula 1’s new star driver – and that mantle fits the Red Bull driver just fine. For the second time in five Grands Prix, the Australian came from behind in the final three laps of the race to take an engrossing victory in Hungary. The win cements his position of third in the Drivers’ World Championship behind Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and lewis Hamilton, and underlines Ricciardo’s status as the go-to driver at Red Bull Racing. sebastian Vettel qualified second at the Hungaroring, two spots ahead of Ricciardo, but finished only seventh, 40s behind his teammate, after nearly spinning his car into a wall in the tricky conditions. Ricciardo, who never appeared to put a foot wrong during the race, has scored 131 points this season, 43 more than the German. “Winning this today, it honestly feels as good as the first [GP win],” Ricciardo said post-race with his familiar wide-as - Western-Australia grin. “It sank in a lot quicker this one, so crossing the line today I knew what was going on a bit more and it’s like I could enjoy it immediately rather than it being delayed, it was awesome. To have to pass guys again to win the race, as I did in Canada, makes it a lot more satisfying, knowing that we did have a bit of a fight on our hands... you beauty!” But the Aussie is also feeling different, perhaps as a result of two come-from-behind GP wins and the publicly stated respect of most of his rivals. A week earlier, Fernando Alonso fought Ricciardo off for fifth place at Hockenheim but raved about his adversary after the race, describing his driving as “very, very smart” and “unbelievable”. such praise sits lightly on the shoulders of Ricciardo. “In this environment now I feel, I am a different driver and in a way a different person, a different sportsman than I was last year,” he said. “I’ve got a lot more belief in myself and it’s cool, I definitely feel like I belong here now and I’ve got confidence; obviously we’ve converted two races into wins this year so far and I think that confidence is showing. “I ’ve got some friends from Australia here this weekend, so the plan was to always have a few drinks tonight, so I think we’ve got an excuse to now!” F1 >>> nEWs STEELY DAN Ricciardo marks himself as a future champion FeRNANDO AlONsO I think he's leading the champion team. That says it all. leWIs HAMIlTON Not only one of the nicest guys in the paddock but also one of the best drivers here, for sure 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: