Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris stayed up late to watch British teenager Emma Raducanu’s US Open triumph on Saturday night, and her success proved contagious.
The McLaren pair finished one-two in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, with Ricciardo ending the team’s nearly nine-year wait for a win.
A keen Formula One fan, Raducanu attended the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July and has said the ever-smiling Ricciardo is her favourite driver.
“Thank you, Emma,” the 32-year-old Australian beamed after the podium celebrations at Monza when reporters asked him about it.
“I watched the whole game last night. I can say it now, I’m not going to shy away from it. I went to bed at probably quarter to one because I couldn’t turn it off.
“It was awesome. I was like ‘I’ll watch the start’ and then I watched it all, so it was amazing, it was phenomenal and it’s awesome that she’s a fan of the sport, I think more than anything.
“I appreciate the love for me, Emma,” he continued.
“But I think also seeing her last night (she) was not overwhelmed by the stage and just kind of taking it all in and playing with aggression and I think just backing yourself… That’s so powerful, and it was cool.
“That’s why I’m a fan of the sport, I love all types of sports because you can gain knowledge from it, you can learn from other sports and the mindset… so congrats to you Emma. You killed it.”
Norris said he also ‘fell victim’ to tennis and suggested it might not be the last time.
“I would never have watched ever, a full game of tennis until last night,” said the 21-year-old.
“It was actually just a lot more enjoyable than I thought. It was pretty cool. I watched it from start to finish, maybe that’s why we had a good day, maybe we need to watch a tennis game, she has to play every Saturday night.”
Raducanu, 18, became the first British woman for 44 years to win a Grand Slam title when she beat Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3.
She was also the first player, male or female, to win a Grand Slam title, having had to go through the qualifying tournament and did so without dropping a set.