Daniel Ricciardo feared his race would be “over in just a few corners” following a loss of power while leading Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, only for the Red Bull Formula 1 driver to nurse his car home for his second victory of the season.

After starting from pole, Ricciardo enjoyed a four-second lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after completing his sole pit stop of the race, but saw his advantage shrink when he felt a loss of power on Lap 18 of the race.

Red Bull informed Ricciardo there was nothing he could do to rectify the issue, and that he would have to drive around it to make it to the finish, with Vettel sitting less than one second behind at points.

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However, Ricciardo was nevertheless able to hold on and secure his second win of the season at Red Bull’s 250th grand prix, acting as a relief following concerns he may not even make it to the end of the race.

“It was about Lap 18 we had problems. We were controlling the race, we pitted, then I think a few laps after the pit stop, I went on-throttle, and I had what felt like half the amount of power to what I was normally having,” Ricciardo explained.

“I thought it was just going to drop. I basically expected my race to be over in a few corners, because it came suddenly. I was doing multiple switch changes. I think we lost the MGU-K.

“After a few laps obviously I was stressing out a bit. I asked the team ‘can we do anything about this?’ and they said ‘no, this is you for the rest of the race now’. I could see Seb catching. For a few laps, I was thinking what do we have to do to win around here.

“I still don’t really know how we did it. Obviously the track is difficult to overtake. We were able to just be nice on the tyres. That was not a good feeling. I couldn’t really enjoy much of the race after that, I was just trying to manage the issues.

“I don’t really know how we got there, but we won. Give me probably 10 more minutes, and then I’ll be relieved and very happy.”

Ricciardo was limited to only six gears as a result of the problem, and was given a late scare when a crash involving Charles Leclerc and Brendon Hartley threatened a Safety Car period that could bunch the field. However, it was cleared under a Virtual Safety Car, meaning Ricciardo’s lead remained intact.

“I saw the debris in the chicane. Ididn’t really want anything, I was just like let’s get this race finished, It already felt long enough,” Ricciardo said.

“I was glad it was a VSC and not a Safety Car. I thought having less power with all the problems, I thought I would have been vulnerable on the restart. It’s hard to overtake here. If I got good traction out of the last corner and blocked into Turn 1, I think I still would have made it difficult for Seb. I didn’t feel like becoming vulnerable in the last few laps.

“We’d already done 72 or something. I wasn’t excited to see it, but in the end, I think it helped me. Seb seemed to lose time behind us. It just made the last few laps a bit longer.”

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