Daniel Ricciardo Fires Warning Shot to Mercedes and Red Bull Following McLaren F1 Form

Published 10/07/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo celebrates with the trophy on the podium with after winning the race alongside second place McLaren’s Lando Norris REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini


After a tricky start to life at McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo is finally enjoying a fine run of form. The Australian recorded the British outfit’s first race victory since 2012 in Monza with his teammate Lando Norris finishing behind him to record an impressive one-two.

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He added an excellent P4 finish in Russia to that famous victory, amidst tricky weather conditions at the Sochi Autodrom. McLaren’s recent performances look worthy of troubling any team on the grid at the moment. And ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend, Ricciardo emphasized on that point.

Daniel Ricciardo believes the top two teams should look over their shoulder

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While Ricciardo put in an impressive performance in Sochi, Norris went one better. He secured his maiden F1 pole position and led the majority of Sunday’s race. However, the 21-year-old lost out on securing his maiden race win as he stayed out on hard tires when heavy rain hit the track.

Ricciardo spoke about Norris‘ rotten luck in Sochi, while mentioning his own performance. He said, “Lando was unlucky that the stop was not ideally scheduled. I, on the other hand, was able to benefit and advance and ultimately finish fourth. 

“It was clear to us what to do, but when the rain started and then got stronger, it was a matter of seconds, and it was very easy to make a small mistake here, which then has a big impact.”

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 7, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during a press conference ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sedat Suna

The Australian then sounded a warning to Mercedes and Red Bull following McLaren’s recent performances. “Lando has shown great performances all year, I have improved in the last few races. How strong McLaren is still depends on the slope characteristics. If we’re on a track, then the two top teams may have to tremble a bit.” (Quotes translated by Google)

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Ricciardo: Need to keep up the momentum

While they have improved leaps and bounds, McLaren‘s real battle is with Ferrari this season. Ricciardo stressed on the need to stay ahead, while mentioning the value of every championship point.

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He said, “We have to try to keep up the momentum. We have now worked our way up a little bit on Ferrari, but every point counts. Our goal must be to arrive before our opponents every weekend.”

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With seven races to go, McLaren lead Ferrari by 17.5 points in the battle for third in the constructor’s championship. And this weekend, Ricciardo and Norris will look to help McLaren extend that lead over their Italian rivals.

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Sanket Nair

824 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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