‘Competition Is What I Love the Most’ – Daniel Ricciardo Gives the Green Signal for F1’s Radical New Idea

Published 02/25/2021, 8:34 AM EST
MONTMELO, SPAIN – Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 poses for a photo during day four of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


F1 is planning on trialing sprint races for the 2021 season. They are currently evaluating the various details involved in organizing a sprint race. The idea has received mix reactions from the paddock, but one driver who has supported the idea is Daniel Ricciardo.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

When a sprint race is incorporated, the race weekend gets divided. Free practice and qualifying take place on Friday, the sprint race on Saturday, and the feature race (full-length race) on Sunday.
Most commonly been used in junior formulas like F2 and F3, the sprint race usually lasts either over 120 kilometers or for 45 minutes. The starting grid for the sprint race is determined by reversing the top 10 in Friday’s Qualifying session.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Image missing
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 06: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
This would see the car which qualified 10th starting the race on pole and vice versa. The feature race starting grid will be set normally, by Friday’s Qualifying.
Should F1 decide to incorporate it, they will try it in 2021 at the Canadian, Italian and Brazilian Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo is amenable to the idea of sprint races

In an interview, Ricciardo liked the idea of sprint races. He said, “At first, I was a little apprehensive. But I do feel better at the thought of that, certainly, then a reverse grid.”
Image missing
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 25: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 walks to his garage before qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
The 31-year-old wants the sport to be competitive but doesn’t want a race victory to be devalued. “Competition is obviously what I love most, so I would love to do more races and less practice or whatever. So it kind of does go towards probably what I want.
“But I think the biggest thing is I want an F1 win to still feel as big as what it should be. I don’t ever want an F1 win to feel diluted, or just somewhat lower than what it should.” 

The Honey Badger and McLaren: A match made in heaven?

The British team has finally borne the fruits of its two-year pursuit of Daniel Ricciardo. The Aussie will be racing in the papaya car of McLaren in 2021.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The team will also be incorporating a new power unit, becoming a customer team of Mercedes after quite a few years; how Ricciardo adjusts to this engine will be a key factor in determining their performance this season.
Image missing
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL34 Renault on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
He won’t have the benefit of getting to drive an older car to test the waters. They were powered by Renault for the past two seasons, and so, 2021 will be a year of in-season development for both McLaren and Ricciardo.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Even if they don’t do as well in the first few races, they should chalk it down to adjustment with the new power unit. Once they’re through that phase, McLaren will be a team to look out for on the track.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

ADVERTISEMENT

More from EssentiallySports on F1

ADVERTISEMENT