Date: 28th July 2014 at 10:46am
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Daniel Ricciardo in his first season at Red Bull Racing took his second career victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Much like his maiden victory in Canada, the Australian rode his luck on route to standing on the top step of the podium.

As expected on a level playing field the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg was just too strong for the rest of the grid and at the start of the race the Formula One Championship leader pulled away at the front of the field.

However luck was not on Rosberg’s side as a safety car following Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson’s heavy crash cost him his 10 seconds lead after just eight laps.

But it wasn’t just time on track that cost Rosberg, due to the timing that the safety car was deployed Rosberg missed out on the best chance of making his first pit-stop to ditch the wet intermediate tyres for dry slicks.

The rest of the field were able to pull into the pit-lane immediately and by the time Rosberg had pitted he had slipped down to fourth with Daniel Ricciardo leading.

This was the first time the advantage was handed to the Australian, but it was far from plain sailing and the Red Bull racer really had to fight hard to take full advantage of the situation.

Ricciardo initially lost out on the re-start to the McLaren of Jenson Button who had bizarrely opted for intermediate tyres. The advantage for the former F1 title holder was short and Ricciardo was able to re-claim the lead a few laps later.

The second safety car cost Ricciardo track position as after Sergio Perez had slammed his Force India into the pit-wall, Ricciardo slipped down to sixth position.

The Australian had opted for a racier strategy with the softer of the tyres and he needed to fight his way through the pack to benefit from the faster rubber.

Rosberg opted to pit early, bumping Ricciardo forward, whilst team-mate Sebastian Vettel was lucky not to replicate Perez’s mistake when he span on the pit straight, bumping Ricciardo to fourth.

The sister Red Bull of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso flirted with the leaders for a while but eventually fell back and with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton’s pit-stops Ricciardo was once again in the lead of the Grand Prix.

On lap 55 Ricciardo surrendered the lead for his final pit-stop of the afternoon, putting himself back on to the faster tyre for the final stint, but with the pit-stop dropping him to fourth he was going to have to win the race the hard way to get beyond Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg was on the same strategy and he too pitted two laps later, giving Ricciardo the chance to win the race on track against two former World Champions.

The Australian did so with some great manoeuvres albeit against cars with older harder tyres.

‘Winning this today, it honestly feels as good as the first. 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.’ he told formula1.com.

‘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! 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.

‘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!’


Ricciardo now sits third in the Formula One Drivers World Championship on 131 points, 43 points clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

 

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