"I'm pumped, it's been a good few days".
A virtual safety auto period ensued, and Ricciardo was the main beneficiary as he emerged five seconds clear of Vettel with just three laps to go. "We won Monaco. It feels good". I felt power loss and I thought the race was done.
Vettel backed off after initially pushing for an overtake and he was unable to succeed on deteriorated tyres later in the race, settling for second to cut Lewis Hamilton's championship lead to 14 points - the Mercedes driver finishing in third. Kimi Raikkonen secured fourth, 0.695 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in fifth, who in turn had Esteban Ocon not far behind him in sixth. When asked whether the wider, higher downforce F1 cars are to blame for the lack of action, he said: "No, I think it's just Monaco". It seemed certain the German would pass him at some point, but Ricciardo held firm for the seventh win of his career.More news: Giuseppe Conte refuses to be Italy’s PM - presidential administration
There was some late drama when Monaco-born Charles Leclerc crashed into the back of the Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley which led to the deployment of the virtual safety auto.
The popular Australian driver appeared emotional, even tearful, as he sat in his auto moments after crossing the finish line. Stroll would soon develop a puncture as a result of contact with Ericsson, and the Ricciardo-Vettel parade would have to dodge him on lap 10.
He stood perfectly still on his auto, nodded slowly in recognition of his achievement and then thumped his chest.
"I could see Seb catching me", Ricciardo said. You know the race itself... it's a different race to a China.More news: Celtics vs. Cavaliers play for a spot in the NBA Finals tonight
In that moment Ricciardo believed his race was over, but a series of setting changes helped keep the power unit operational - albeit roughly 160bhp down on power. Then your brake temperatures go out of control. Right now, there's still a lot to process but as I said, once it all settles I think yeah, I could probably say that.
As he usually does after a victory, Ricciardo took off his shoe, filled it with champagne and drank out of it.
Ricciardo then offered the huge bottle - but not the shoe - to Prince Albert of Monaco, who took a small sip.
Hamilton has won the past two races and leads the championship by 17 points ahead of Vettel, who won the opening two races. Ricciardo's issues allowed the Mercedes to close in on the top two midway through the race, but tyre troubles meant he never got close enough to attempt an overtaking move.More news: Lava From Hawaii's Erupting Kilauea Volcano Reaches Geothermal Plant, Threatens Another