Daniel Ricciardo might not carry too many thoughts of victory to the Hungaroring this weekend, but he does have memories of the top step of the podium from a year ago.
The Australian produced a typically battling performance to haul his Red Bull past both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to claim his second win of the 2014 season, after RBR called its strategy just right under the safety car.
“Last year was a great race for me!” Ricciardo reflected, “Of the three wins, it was the one where I was definitely most excited during the race. It's tough for me to judge, but probably it was the best performance of the three, purely because of the people I passed to finish in the lead. I had tyres in better condition – excellent strategy from our guys – but Fernando and Lewis don't let you have the places for free. I had to really work for it!”
While not necessarily a fan of the Hungaroring circuit, the Australian – who went on to win the following race in Belgium as well – admitted that visiting Budapest remained one of the highlights of his season.
“It's a great, great track for a qualifying lap, one of the best of the year,” he confirmed, “It's tight, twisty and bumpy, and you have to use a lot of kerb – so getting in a low fuel, new tyre lap right on the limit it's lots and lots of fun. But, for the same reasons, the race tends to be quite tight with not a lot of overtaking.
“However, the Hungarian Grand Prix has a lot going for it. Personally, I love these races in the European summer when you have the high temperatures and – usually – the great weather, plus it's the final race before the summer break and that tends to put everyone in a good mood.
“There's usually a really good party on Sunday night and, because of the break, everyone tends to stay and have fun. Budapest is a cool city, really good restaurants and bars, really nice, really loyal fans and basically a great place to have a grand prix. Winning the race was awesome, but the fact I had half a dozen mates over for the race made it even better. What I said about Hungary being the final race before the break? We had a really good Sunday night....”