‘Head scratcher’: Daniel Ricciardo ‘hurting’ after shocking result at Spanish GP
Daniel Ricciardo’s underwhelming start to the F1 season has continued with another finish out of the points at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Australian started ninth on the grid after a promising performance in qualifying but he couldn’t make any ground and slipped down to cross the finish line in 12th.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the race to take the championship lead from Charles Leclerc, who appeared to be cruising to victory before the engine in his Ferrari completely lost power and he had to retire.
Ricciardo held ground in the early stages of the race but could do little to stop drivers passing him, calling it a “really, really sad race”.
“It wasn’t a good race today. I’d love to find something positive, but it was just a struggle from the start,” Ricciardo said. “I was slow, and I simply had a lot less grip than everyone else around me.
‘Head scratcher’: Daniel Ricciardo ‘hurting’ after…
“With the three stops, we had four chances on different sets of tyres, but we didn’t have the pace on any of them. I’m not really sure why, to be honest, so we’ll try to have a look and understand it. Hopefully, we can get on top of it as the upgrades we brought were good.”
Speaking separately to reporters, Ricciardo added: “It’s one of those races that it was so slow that you kind of, nearly sounds bad to say, but you hope that something was wrong.
“You hope that we find something that is like, ‘Oh, that’s why’, because probably more concerning if we don’t.
“It wasn’t like a tenth or two tenths (of a second) off. It felt like over a second at times.
“I don’t know that for a fact but I certainly saw the cars pass me and pull away very quickly.”
At one stage Ricciardo was overtaken by Haas’ Mick Schumacher, before he took that place back.
“It’s another race for Daniel Ricciardo out of the points, sadly for him,” Sky Sports commentator David Croft said.
“Only one Grand Prix in 2022 has he scored points in. It’s another afternoon where Daniel just hasn’t been able to find the result he was looking for.”
Ricciardo once again finished behind his McLaren teammate Lando Norris, who secured P8 despite battling illness for the entire race weekend.
Norris has consistently outpaced Ricciardo and F1 pundits said the Aussie’s struggling form is a “head scratcher”.
“They (McLaren) just have to keep working,” Sky sports commentator Paul di Resta said.
“They believed in him when he came in to the team. If you give Daniel a car, he can certainly deliver.
“But I guess the disappointing thing for him is he went through the end of the last generation of Formula One and struggled against Lando. He’s gone into this generation — completely different driving style, completely different car and how it delivers the lap time — and he’s still a little bit behind him.
“Daniel will be hurting, he doesn’t need the team to tell him that. He will be his hardest critic and he will try to do what he can.
“He’s a master of Monaco, he’s won there once, nearly won there another time. But it’s long and painful when your teammate is putting that effort in.”
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Former world champion Damon Hill said being constantly outshone by a teammate can be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
“It’s a head scratcher,” he said. “If you’re driving and you’re being outpaced, it’s a problem. It’s a head scratcher.
“You start to think, ‘Maybe that’s just a fact of life I’m going to have to live with. I’m not as quick as my teammate’ and how do you get on with it.”
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