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HomeSportsF1 racing2022 F1 driver rankings #19: Ricciardo · RaceFans

2022 F1 driver rankings #19: Ricciardo · RaceFans

When he climbed to the highest step of Monza’s well-known podium in 2021 having simply given McLaren their first victory in 9 years, what number of would imagine that 436 days later Daniel Ricciardo can be off the Formula 1 grid fully?

Ricciardo was imagined to be an improve over Carlos Sainz Jnr, who had served McLaren nicely throughout his two years with the crew. A a number of race winner coming off a robust second season with Renault, Ricciardo was the proper veteran to pair with younger Lando Norris.

But 2021 was nothing like Ricciardo or his crew anticipated. He was hammered by Norris over the yr, solely managing to salvage some face along with his good, out-of-nowhere Monza win. At least he may reset over the low season and head into a brand new season in 2022 with a totally new automotive and a brand new mentality.

It didn’t get any higher. In reality, by his personal admission, Ricciardo’s efficiency throughout 2022 left him with the sobering realisation that 2021 might not have been that dangerous by comparability – particularly as he ended the season with a fair higher chasm between himself and Norris within the championship standings.

First-lap tangle with Sainz ruined Ricciardo’s Imola race

It wasn’t a straightforward begin to the brand new period of F1 for Ricciardo or McLaren as a crew. Covid-19 ended his pre-season early and he headed into the primary race weekend in Bahrain with a automotive that had a low likelihood of scoring factors and a excessive likelihood of cooking its brakes. But a speedy turnaround by the crew gave Ricciardo the chance to placed on a present for his residence followers in Melbourne, ending sixth behind Norris after respecting crew orders to not problem him over the ultimate laps.

Then, Imola was the primary black mark of the season. While Norris navigated by way of a tough race within the moist to take what can be the one podium end of the yr for any midfield crew, Ricciardo’s race had been ruined on the first nook. While the stewards elected to not examine his race-ending conflict with Sainz, Ricciardo felt the necessity to apologise for the flip one collision that successfully ended each their afternoons.

Ricciardo’s season was once more being outlined by how he was merely unable to match his crew mate. Norris fell in poor health with tonsillitis at Barcelona, however nonetheless battled by way of to attain 4 factors in eighth whereas Ricciardo crossed the road in twelfth, 45 seconds behind. He wrecked his automotive into the Swimming Pool limitations throughout Friday apply at Monaco, then completed thirteenth within the race whereas Norris was ‘best of the rest’ in sixth.

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Baku supplied a uncommon increase for Ricciardo as he completed forward of Norris in eighth – with the advantage of crew orders incomes him fee from Melbourne – however the concern at Woking was solely rising. As the crew packed up their issues after the British Grand Prix, Norris held a bonus of 43 factors over Ricciardo within the championship. After the race, Seidl and Brown made the daring name to signal Alpine junior Oscar Piastri to interchange Ricciardo for 2023 and search approach of ending their contract with Ricciardo a full season early as their most up-to-date winner had apparently exhausted the endurance of the crew’s administration.

Norris virtually at all times led Ricciardo residence

McLaren’s respect for Ricciardo as a member of the crew is unquestionable. Team principal Andreas Seidl couldn’t have been clearer about how a lot they appreciated Ricciardo’s character, crew spirit and work ethic throughout their closing months collectively. But McLaren is an F1 crew, not a social membership, and Ricciardo’s lack of efficiency for a second successive yr was merely unacceptable.

Sadly for Ricciardo, the remainder of his season provided little to counsel McLaren had made a mistake by dropping him. A very poor run of races both facet of the summer time break left him wanting as misplaced as he had ever been. He put in a good efficiency at Monza however simply his greatest work of the season got here in Singapore. Lacking the upgrades of his crew mate, he began sixteenth on the grid and rose as much as fifth – his greatest results of 2022.

Perhaps probably the most heart-breaking race of all was the United States Grand Prix. No driver has embraced F1’s lust for Americana fairly like Ricciardo, rocking as much as the paddock on a horse and sporting a Texas Longhorns jersey throughout the drivers’ parade. But after qualifying 9 locations behind Norris in seventeenth, his race tempo evaporated underneath the Austin solar, crossing the road a dismal sixteenth – 10 locations behind his crew mate.

His closing races with McLaren have been a irritating mixture of Ricciardo at his greatest and worst. When McLaren gave him the perfect technique in Mexico, he wasted no time making it work, attending to get pleasure from attacking rivals on comfortable tyres. Then he clumsily clattered into Yuki Tsunoda and earned a 10-second penalty that threatened to undo his laborious work, however by the chequered flag he’d managed to negate on a regular basis he’d misplaced to maintain a well-earned seventh.

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Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022
Despite a collision with Tsunoda, Ricciardo scored in Mexico

Interlagos was by no means going to be McLaren’s greatest venue, however for the second Sunday in succession he bumped right into a rival in a sluggish proper hander, pitching Kevin Magnussen right into a spin and inflicting the crash that ended his race on the opening lap.

Heading into Abu Dhabi, Ricciardo knew he can be absent from the grid for no less than the subsequent season – presumably for good. At least if he by no means races a grand prix once more, he can maintain his head excessive having held off former crew mate and fellow Red Bull product Sebastian Vettel over the ultimate laps of the race to finish his time at McLaren with a stable factors end.

Ricciardo is satisfied F1 has not seen the final of him but. At the age of 33, he has not but reached his use-by date as a racing driver. However, if any crew does determine to provide him one other likelihood at a race seat sooner or later, it will likely be regardless of his efficiency in 2022, not due to it.

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