Connect with us

Red Bull’s Verstappen was swift off the line, taking the race lead from Hamilton who trailed for the vast majority of the race at Circuit de Catalunya.

But a bold two-stop strategy by Mercedes paid dividends for the world champion, who made up more than 22 seconds to Verstappen to take back the race lead with just six laps remaining.

Hamilton held on for the win to open up a 14-point lead in the drivers’ championship — but the greatest benefit he took from the race may not have been the win at all.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

Source link

Motorsport

Daniel Ricciardo McLaren drive at French Grand Prix, Lando Norris, result, Jolyon Palmer column

Published

on

Missed in Daniel Ricciardo’s French Grand Prix drive was the most clear sign yet that he has finally found his feet at McLaren.

The Aussie drove at his aggressive best after starting 10th on the grid to finish sixth, giving McLaren a successful day the office with Lando Norris finishing fifth.

On the surface, it is easy for Formula 1 pundits to chalk Monday morning’s race up as another day when Norris bested his teammate.

But Formula 1 great Jolyon Palmer has spotted the reason Ricciardo’s drive at the Circuit Paul Ricard was his best yet.

The former driver has said in a column written for F1.com, Ricciardo could have easily finished ahead of Norris if not for circumstances beyond his control.

Ricciardo equalled his best finish for the season and admitted after the race it was a big step forward.

“I never left,” Ricciardo said.

“Just moved aside for a little while. It was fun, certainly some old skills coming back, a bit of racing, a bit of talking smack on the radio, elbows out.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

Daniel Ricciardo ended up on the slower race strategy.Source: Getty Images

“So yeah, starting to get a bit more comfortable in the car, a bit of confidence in racing situations, so it was good fun.”

Palmer agrees, declaring the drive was Ricciardo’s most complete performance this year.

The 31-year-old overtook Norris on the second lap, but their fortunes changed during their only pit stops of the race.

Norris stayed out for eight laps longer in the first stint, giving him fresher tyres at the end of the race.

READ MORE

RICCIARDO EXCLUSIVE: The personal pain behind F1 fight — and why brutal truth won’t kill his dream

Palmer says Ricciardo ended up having a tougher race than his teammate because of the pit stop strategy which saw him being held up by cars in front while Norris was able to race in clean air early in his second stint. He ended up finishing 10 seconds clear of Ricciardo after the Aussie let him through near the end because the British driver was running on fresher, quicker tyres.

“This was a race where Ricciardo was closer to his best again,” Palmer wrote in his column.

“He seemed to have confidence in the car, and we were getting the old Ricciardo radio messages indicating he was right up for the fight.

“Ironically, because he was the first McLaren in the opening stint, he ended up having arguably the tougher race, doing more overtaking early on as Norris followed him past Fernando Alonso, and Leclerc pitted before Norris had to overtake him.

It’s been a turbulent year for Daniel RicciardoSource: Getty Images

“Ricciardo’s charge also prompted his own early stop as he undercut Pierre Gasly, forcing him into a longer, more perilous final stint. But he managed it to perfection, with his most complete drive for McLaren thus far.”

Norris has finished ahead of Ricciardo in six of the seven races this year with the Aussie only besting his teammate at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The rivalry reached boiling point this week with Norris saying publicly he wants to have a serious talk with his teammate about his aggressive driving when they fought for position early in the race.

Ricciardo will get his chance to continue his development at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, the first race of back-to-back grands prix at the famed Red Bull Ring circuit.

Source link

Continue Reading

Motorsport

Daniel Ricciardo speaks McLaren, Lando Norris, and missing Australia

Published

on

Daniel Ricciardo has every right to complain about how the biggest gamble of his F1 career has panned out so far.

His shock switch from Renault to McLaren was never meant to be a cakewalk.

But a quirky car that — as he explains — must be driven on a “knife’s edge” to extract its full potential wasn’t on the cards.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

“I mean, I told them I’d be half a second quicker,” Ricciardo jokes about his arrival in an Australian exclusive interview with foxsports.com.au prior to the French Grand Prix.

The daunting switch has coincided with the longest period he has ever spent away from home, where he left in pursuit of his F1 dream in 2007.

He was last in Australia on June 1 2020, and isn’t expected to step foot back in his home country this year, barring any miracle that would see November’s Grand Prix in Melbourne staged.

“I am missing home,” Ricciardo says. “I’m missing family and friends, so that can certainly get me down.

“Other drivers, even if they don’t live at home, they’re a quick flight if they’re based in Europe, like most are. So they’re able to see family and friends so much easier.

“This year will probably be the first year since I left home where I’ll actually get homesick.

“Let’s say I’m pretty aware of that.”

Nonetheless, Ricciardo is uncomfortable complaining.

SWEET move by Danny Ric! | 00:41

READ MORE

‘HE SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT’: Daniel Ricciardo set for showdown F1 teammate

TALKING POINTS: ‘Soft’ mistake reveals ‘cracks’ in F1 dynasty; Moment that ignited Ricciardo’s revival

RACE REPORT: Mad Max punishes blundering Mercs in F1 thriller; ‘stellar’ Ricciardo’s big turning point

He never wants to come off as ungrateful or, worse yet, like he’s making excuses.

Sheepishly, he agrees that parts of the 2021 season have been the toughest of his career, from a driving perspective.

Asked how he would rate his first six races at McLaren, he says: “Oh, don’t make me do that … I mean, from a results point of view, I wouldn’t give myself too much of a flattering grade.”

Laughing, he adds: “But I don’t want to say what (number) I think because then it just makes me sound pretty sh*t! But there’s definitely room to improve.”

Eventually, he settles on a five out of 10, although it’s a painful admission that comes with a caveat.

“On a more positive off-track grade, I would definitely give myself a nine,” he says.

“The results aren’t through a lack of trying and I certainly feel like I’ve put in the work … So although my score is a five out of 10 now, I’m uber confident that increases at the year goes on.

“So panic not, my friends.”

Ricciardo has never panicked, and always thrived when the odds have been against him.

In 2014, he outdrove a four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, in his debut season at Red Bull, where the German had been settled for five years.

Daniel Ricciardo and his mother Grace after the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018.Source: Getty Images

In 2020, he claimed two podiums at Renault, a team which hadn’t had a driver in F1’s top three in more than nine years.

Even making it to F1 at all, without significant financial backing, is the realisation of a dream that, for most, is fanciful at best.

Ricciardo is now in his 11th season, which he’s spending at a fifth F1 team, on which his lifelong dream of winning a world title hinges.

Dauntingly, McLaren hasn’t won a Grand Prix since 2012, and hasn’t stabled a world champion since Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

Realistically, becoming an F1 world champion is a long shot.

But the adversity Ricciardo overcomes in 2021 could, ultimately, elevate him to the peak of his powers, and lay the ground work for a watershed moment in Australian motorsport.

Australia has not had a Formula One world champion since 1980 – a streak Ricciardo still hasn’t given up hope of breaking, even with the odds more heavily stacked against him than ever.

“I’m aware now that to win five titles is becoming slimmer and slimmer,” he admits. “But still, to win one, I think there’s time on my side.

“McLaren is certainly where my ambition is and I definitely want to see this one through, hopefully with a lot of success.”

McLaren hasn’t stabled a world champion since Lewis Hamilton in 2008.Source: AP

‘LIKE KICKING WITH MY LEFT’

At 31 years old, and just months into a fresh three-year deal, time still favours Ricciardo, who has often been rated as one of the category’s best drivers.

Sleeping F1 giant, McLaren, is still just stepping out of hibernation, although a massive rules shake-up in 2022 could shuffle the deck.

And if the team plays its cards right, seven-time Grand Prix winner Ricciardo — and teammate Lando Norris — could be in the hunt for wins once more.

First and foremost, however, Ricciardo must overcome a significant hurdle.

Feeling comfortable in new surrounds has come relatively quickly, he says, but feeling comfortable in the cockpit has not.

Ricciardo has made no secret that his new drive has its list of quirks that don’t gel with his driving style.

Just how difficult the transition is, however, becomes clearer as he explains it’s similar to a top footballer learning to become dominant with their weaker foot.

“I’m basically trying to get good at kicking a ball with my left foot,” he says.

“So my instinct is obviously (to) kick a ball with my right foot, and that’s easy, but to really try and perfect this car, I’m trying now to learn to kick with my left. That’s maybe a good analogy.”

Ricciardo isn’t naive — he fully expected the McLaren to be different to what he experienced at previous teams.

Just not this different, or temperamental.

“The team’s had some really good results the last few years, so once you can kind of balance it on this nice knife’s edge, the car can certainly be quick,” Ricciardo says.

“I think that’s probably another way of putting it as well; it does have a bit of a sweet spot, but it’s just quite small and obviously if you’re outside of it then you’re not getting the performance.”

He adds that changes to front tyres and narrowing of the car floor at the rear have likely contributed to the unfamiliarity, too, as Norris has made similar observations.

Ricciardo is still coming to terms with driving the McLaren.Source: Getty Images

‘DIFFERENT NEEDS TO BECOME NORMAL’

After seven races, Ricciardo has outdriven Norris just once, although there were signs in France last weekend that the he’s closing the gap.

A long road still lies ahead, but Ricciardo understands it’s a punishment worth enduring — a two-footed footballer is a dangerous weapon, after all.

“Adapting to the Renault, I was still able to adapt with a similar driving style or something that was more natural for me,” he says “The McLaren is a little more detailed than that, I guess.

“But I look at it as a positive as well. In the long run, if I can, let’s say, learn how to drive with a different style, then I have more tools in my arsenal.”

He adds: “I’ve got to a point now where I’m also not trying to fill my head with it. It’s different, sure, but it can’t be different forever.

“At some point this is it, this is the car I’ve got and different needs to become normal and get on with it.”

STAYING AT MCLAREN… AND THE LANDO ‘BROMANCE’ THAT ISN’T

Ricciardo is sick of moving around.

He stunned Red Bull when he quit in 2018, seeking a fresh start as the team’s obsession with Max Verstappen grew to scary new levels.

Less than two years later, he had seen all he needed to of Renault, and was on the move once more.

Three teams in four seasons certainly hasn’t made Ricciardo’s McLaren transition any easier.

Asked if that means he’s now looking to stay put long-term, he laughs again, saying: “For sure, for sure.

“Changing teams and that, although I’ve done a bit of it the last few years it’s certainly an inconvenience and you’re obviously forced to relearn things. But I think the beauty of that as well is you have a chance to grow and to learn more.

Ricciardo revealed the strength of his bond with Lando Norris outside of the garage has been largely overstated.Source: Getty Images

“So it’s more challenging, but I think in the long run it will pay off and that’s why I certainly want to stay here and make it work, build up this speed and this understanding over the course of years until when it eventually feels perfect.”

Ricciardo has been thrilled with his new team from the little time he’s spent there, praising its work ethic, attention to detail and open-mindedness.

He’s also pleased that he’s on the same page with teammate Norris at the development table, even if they aren’t anywhere else.

The F1 world became infatuated with the pair’s apparent ‘bromance’ since Norris made his debut in 2019, but Ricciardo revealed the strength of their bond outside of the garage has been largely overstated.

“You can’t deny there is a generation gap,” Ricciardo says. “There’s even some phrases and some things I’ll say that he just doesn’t get, so you have to pick your conversations at times.

“Is it the bromance he had with Carlos (Sainz)? It isn’t yet. But I honestly just put that down to generation as well.”

Verstappen pips Hamilton, wins French GP | 01:49

He adds: “In all that being said, there’s certainly no friction or anything like that. I’d say we’re getting down to business for now and putting that first and foremost. Not trolling each other or anything too much.”

How their working relationship progresses will have a major influence on McLaren’s overall development towards a championship-contending car.

Ricciardo wants to push the team in one direction, saying he wants to become a better driver of the current car, but also develop one that leans more on his strengths.

As of last week, Ricciardo said Norris was looking for similar improvements, which bodes well for the McLaren garage.

“It’s a two-way process now, but the team’s been great. I want to give them more absolutely, but I think they also understand this is a journey, Ricciardo says.

“I signed a three-year contract with them so would love to have fireworks already, but we know that we’ve got time on our side to get it right and go through the process properly.”

‘I’LL CLICK MY FINGERS, AND IT’LL HAPPEN’

Meanwhile, Ricciardo and his former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul haven’t been to the tattoo parlour yet.

The day will come soon; Abiteboul owes his former star some ink having made a bet he effectively wanted to lose – and did last year when Ricciardo stood on the podium in Germany.

“Now it’s just a matter of time,” an excited Ricciardo says.

“I’m trying to do it in London because I know some tattoo artists there, so we’re just trying to work some dates when we’re both together in London.

“Then I’ll click my fingers, and it’ll happen.”

Ricciardo wishes he could enter a fight for podiums, wins, or even see his family again in the same way; with a click of his fingers.

In a way, he likes that he can’t.

“If I am making these sacrifices and being away from family and friends, and missing events — even like families getting older, grandparents and all that, life goes on,” he says.

“So if I am over here missing important things, which I do value a lot, then I’m like, ‘Alright, well I better make this right and make this work.

“Otherwise it’s all for nothing.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Motorsport

French Grand Prix; Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris teammate,

Published

on

Lando Norris says he will confront McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo after the pair locked horns on the track at the French Grand Prix.

The Australian enjoyed his best race of the season, working his way from 10th on the grid with a series of trademark manoeuvres to claim sixth place.

Among those he passed was Norris with the pair given the green light to tussle in the opening stages.

Having driven off the track on turn one, Norris was overheard complaining about Ricciardo on the team radio.

“The McLaren drivers are not making it easy for each other,” Sky Sports analyst Ted Kravitz revealed.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

Verstappen pips Hamilton, wins French GP | 01:49

READ MORE

TALKING POINTS: Cracks appear in dynasty; moment that ignited Ricciardo revival

‘LET’S F***ING GO’: McLaren star whinges as Ricciardo fights back

“Lando Norris, having gone off, sort of complaining a little bit on the radio about Daniel Ricciardo, telling them, ‘He’s pushing me wide, not giving me enough space’.”

Norris would eventually pip Ricciardo to fifth place but told Motorsport.com he planned to speak to his teammate about the incident.

“It was aggressive defence,” he said.

“I have nothing against Daniel but I think he shouldn’t have done that. It’s racing, I probably would have done the same with him, but I was on the edge of the shackles.

“If there had been tar or something on my right then I wouldn’t be complaining. But because there were all those buzzers and bumps I couldn’t take my turn and had to go straight on because he pushed me down.

“I’m not trying to complain about it but we will definitely discuss it.”

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl, however, said he had no issue with the race.

“As long as they are fighting for a position and there is no clear difference in strategy, we let them race,” he said after the race.

“Why the F*** no one listens to me” | 00:26

Get all the latest F1 news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!!

“That’s the deal we made with the two drivers. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty straightforward directive: ‘We don’t hang on’. But it is clear that if there is has a reason behind a big difference in pace, so I’m not saying we’ll interfere but we’ll make sure we don’t make our lives hard for no reason.

“I also think if you look at the moment when Lando passed Daniel it was clear that he had an advantage with tires 10 laps cooler. And Daniel didn’t make the pass very difficult because it was clear that Lando had the advantage.

“If you look at the team’s strategy, I think it was perfect in both cases. The goal was clear today, to finish fifth and sixth and we were able to do it with our strategy.”

Ricciardo, meanwhile, believes the French GP was a turning point in what has been a difficult season.

“So this car will feel like home and I think today it started to feel a little more like home,” he said.

“And the next two (races) coming up are hopefully fun ones as well, with some good moves, battles — and it’s nice seeing the others suffer a little bit more than us as well.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending