On the tight turns of Monaco, Daniel Ricciardo’s weak Renault-powered F1 ride was equal to the entries of Ferrari and Mercedes and Ricciardo walked away with victory in what is arguably the marquee event of the F1 circuit, the Grand Prix of Monaco.
It was not an easy win and he had to battle his car for the entire race, but he led the entire way on a course where handling and aerodynamics trumps pure power.
He nearly won the same race in 2016, but was the victim of a poorly executed pit stop.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was in his mirror, but Ricciardo was able to hold him off to gain his first Monaco win, along with his second of the season and the seventh of his career.
The price for Red Bull to retain him, or for Ferrari or Mercedes to lure him, just went up.
Ricciardo is in third place in the overall standings. As has become boringly routine, Lewis Hamilton enjoys a comfortable 38-point cushion over Ricciardo, but Vettel is giving Hamilton a run for the number one spot and trails by just 14 points.
As if sacrificing horsepower on a regular basis was not enough, Ricciardo suffered a drop in power early in the race. He still managed to win by 7.3 seconds, in a sport where victory is often measured in fractions of a second.
To other than the truly diehard motorsport fans, the race was similar to the last stage of the Tour de France, largely a procession led by Ricciardo.
The other Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen, started 20th on the grid and deserves credit for being able to move up to ninth, but on the Monaco course, it is almost impossible to overtake.
It leads to speculation about what Ricciardo could do if he could match pace with the big boys, as there is, and has not been for some time, any question about his driving ability, as he always does well on the tight courses.