Carlos Sainz Jr Pokes Fun at McLaren for Forgetting Daniel Ricciardo’s Name

Published 05/13/2021, 6:46 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


At the Spanish Grand Prix, there was a sense of deja vu as far as Carlos Sainz Jr was concerned. Some time during the race, the McLaren team radioed Daniel Ricciardo and asked him to pit. However, race engineer Tom Stallard accidentally called him Carlos, before catching and correcting himself. To his credit, Ricciardo did not even bat an eyelid.

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Instead, the Australian driver simply acknowledged the message and dived into the pits. Soon, this became a bit of a running joke, especially when Carlos Sainz got in on the action. Stallard even confessed that this was a problem that he faced every time the F1 paddock raced in Spain.

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Last year when Sainz Jr was with the team, Stallard accidentally blurted the name ‘Darren’. He immediately apologized for the embarrassing gaffe, but the Spaniard wanted to keep the joke running. He cheekily replied, “Hi Tom! It’s Darren,” to everyone’s amusement.

Why did Carlos Sainz find this funny?

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Apparently, ‘Darren’ was a McLaren race strategist and Stallard thought he was talking to him instead of Sainz. According to Sainz, aside from the pit-to-car radio channel, there was also a direct line to the McLaren factory. It was clear that Stallard had hit the wrong button, and the feed went to Sainz out on track.

Coming back to the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, the curse struck Stallard again. This time, he briefly forgot that Carlos Sainz no longer raced for their team. Admittedly, this also means that poor old Sainz will be missing his time singing Smooth Operator on the radio. Those were often the main highlights of their relationship in the 2020 Formula One season.

Now, the Spaniard is racing for Scuderia Ferrari, and Daniel Ricciardo has taken his place at McLaren. As a result, poor old Tom Stallard will have to get used to saying Daniel Ricciardo’s name more often. Another thing that the fans will miss will be the ‘bromance’ relationship between Sainz and Lando Norris.

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Hopefully, Ricciardo and Norris’ time with the team gives us as many moments to cherish, if not more!

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Dhruv George

12003 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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