Ricciardo says Dutch GP was the worst

Ricciardo says Dutch GP was the worst

Daniel Ricciardo believed his 2022 season couldn’t get any worse, but an afternoon spent behind the pack in last Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix absolved him of that notion.

The McLaren driver was eliminated from qualifying on Saturday as early as Q1 after failing to locate the few tenths required to make the cut. Therefore, Ricciardo was forced to line up in P17 for the start of his race, much behind teammate Lando Norris, who enjoyed the advantage over the Australian all season.

The McLaren driver made little progress on race day, moving up just one spot at the start and finishing where he had begun, in 17th place, marking yet another setback for both himself and his team.

However, the Honey Badger had a positive start to his weekend on Friday after hearing from McLaren race engineer Tom Stallard about a strong performance in first practice.

“I feel like there’s been a lot of bad races, I say it’s the worst, and I didn’t think it could get worse,” Ricciardo said. “It’s weird as well, because I think back to FP1, I remember the first few laps of the session and Tom was like: ‘alright, that’s P1.’, and I was like: ‘alright.’

“Not everyone had set a time, but I felt it was trending to be a much better weekend. And that’s where it’s a weird one.

“I know qualifying got away from us through the last corner, but I felt like we were looking a much better car or in a better place after the first practice session… So yeah, tough, but certainly not a good weekend.”

The details of Ricciardo’s plans for 2023 are still unknown. While the Australian may have choices for the upcoming season, including Williams, Haas, and maybe Alpine if the team’s efforts to sign Pierre Gasly are unsuccessful, a year off the track is a possibility that is gaining traction.

Before the drivers’ parade for the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday at Zandvoort, Ricciardo was overheard advising Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to take a sabbatical and come back in 2024.

Nevertheless, Ricciardo is returning to Monza this week, the location of his amazing victory with McLaren at the F1 Temple of Speed last year.

“I’ll try to bring back last year’s magic,” Ricciardo said after last Sunday’s race.

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