Winner Daniel Ricciardo drinks champagne out of his boot after the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.
Winner Daniel Ricciardo drinks champagne out of his boot after the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix. DIEGO AZUBEL

Ricciardo takes the glory in Malaysia

MOTORSPORT: Australian Daniel Ricciardo has dedicated his win at the Malaysian Grand Prix to his late friend Jules Bianchi.

The Frenchman died last July from head injuries sustained in a crash during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo, whose pit crew cost him wins in Spain and Monaco this season, said he had been waiting for the chance to pay tribute to his friend.

"My life definitely changed since that incident and I'm extremely grateful and appreciative of everything I've got,” he said.

"I will dedicate this to him.”

Ricciardo took time to praise his team after his victory following on from the mistakes which cost him success earlier in the year.

"After Monaco in particular it was mixed emotions and was a hard one to take, but I felt we've come through that as a team,” he said.

"I felt we learnt a lot, and as a person it made me a bit stronger. I think we've only got better since then.”

Ricciardo fought off Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen to secure his fourth Formula 1 victory on a disastrous day for Mercedes.

Briton Lewis Hamilton's bid for a third consecutive championship took a huge knock after he retired with a blown engine after leading the bulk of the race.

His teammate Nico Rosberg, who finished third in his Mercedes now has a 23-point lead in the standings, but the German also had his share of problems.

Contact from Sebastian Vettel at the first corner put the Ferrari driver out of the race and sent the world title leader spinning to the back of the pack.

For Ricciardo it was his first win of the season.

"I'm not really one for believing in a whole lot, but obviously it went the other way in Monaco, so I'll take this today,” he said.

"No hard feelings to Lewis, but I'll definitely take the win

"It's been a pretty emotional two years since the last win, and we've come so close this year.

"Two weeks ago after the race I said we'd win one this year, and now we've got this.

"Big thanks to Red Bull Racing, everyone's who's supported me throughout this journey.”