Ric­cia­rdo aims to ‘kick ass’ in Ja­pan GP

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

STILL buzzing from his Malaysia win, Red Bull’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo has promised to “kick ass” in Ja­pan this week­end – and that could be bad news for Nico Ros­berg. Ric­cia­rdo toasted his first For­mula One vic­tory in two years by re­mov­ing his sweaty sneaker and drink­ing cham­pagne from it, be­fore of­fer­ing it to Ros­berg in an ec­cen­tric twist to his trade­mark cel­e­bra­tion.

The Ger­man, who fin­ished third be­hind Ric­cia­rdo and Max Ver­stap­pen in the other Red Bull on Oc­to­ber 2, bravely supped the bub­bly. But the Aus­tralian re­vealed that his Mercedes ri­val had not been over­joyed.

“It was prob­a­bly the worst race to win be­cause there was so much sweat in the shoe,” a grin­ning Ric­cia­rdo told re­porters yes­ter­day.

“In the press con­fer­ence he tapped me and pulled a face and goes, ‘Don’t make me do that again, it was dis­gust­ing!’ I said, ‘You’ll have to stop me from win­ning next time!’ Hope­fully we can kick some ass this week­end.”

Ros­berg’s dis­tress will have been soft­ened by the fact he now holds a 23-point lead over Mercedes team­mate Lewis Hamil­ton with five races left this sea­son af­ter the Bri­ton suf­fered an en­gine fail­ure in Sepang.

Ric­cia­rdo is a dis­tant third in the stand­ings but in­sisted Red Bull could still pose a threat to the ram­pant Mercedes, par­tic­u­larly with rain fore­cast for Sun­day’s race at Suzuka.

“We def­i­nitely have a good chance here,” he told AFP. “In 2014 we were quick in that wet race and our car is as com­pet­i­tive now as it was then, maybe even more com­pet­i­tive.

“In Malaysia we got a lit­tle lucky ob­vi­ously with Hamil­ton hav­ing his prob­lems, but Suzuka should be a lit­tle bit bet­ter for us,” added Ric­cia­rdo, fresh from lead­ing Red Bull’s first one-two in al­most three years.

Ric­cia­rdo also ad­mit­ted that the Ja­panese Grand Prix weighed heav­ily on driv­ers af­ter French­man Jules Bianchi died as a re­sult of in­juries he sus­tained in that 2014 race.

“We’re pretty strong to block those things out when we put the hel­met on,” he said.

“But it is a lit­tle bit emo­tional com­ing back to Suzuka since then.”

Photo: AFP

Pit crew sur­round Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team driver Nico Ros­berg’s car dur­ing the qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion of the For­mula One Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Oc­to­ber 1. Af­ter his vic­tory in Sepang, Ros­berg leads the field with 23 points head­ing into the Ja­pan Grand Prix this week­end.

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