Has Daniel Ricciardo’s Talent ‘Evaporated’? Ex F1 Driver Makes a Strong Claim

Published 10/16/2021, 2:15 PM EDT
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


Fans across the world might have thought Daniel Ricciardo left his early struggles at McLaren behind after the summer break. At the Italian Grand Prix, the Australian didn’t just record his first podium, but also his first race win with the British outfit.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, the Turkish Grand Prix cast doubts on his adjustment to life with the papaya outfit once again. Among his doubters features former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, who shared his opinion on the 32-year-old.

Johnny Herbert admits he didn’t expect Daniel Ricciardo to struggle a lot

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Australian looked in fine fettle in Monza just a few weeks ago. While he excelled in sprint qualifying, he held his race together to produce one of the best moments this season. He followed it up with a good performance in Sochi, finishing fourth to bring home more points.

However, Ricciardo struggled throughout the last race weekend in Istanbul. He failed to make it out of Q1 in qualifying, and struggled on the intermediate tires during Sunday’s race. Despite gaining a few places, he failed to hold Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz behind, while finishing a dismal P13.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during practice REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Recently, Herbert admitted seeing him struggle as much as he is was unexpected, while acknowledging his talent. He saidWe never expected him to struggle so much. I can empathise with him and it’s terrible, especially when it’s been so long and you still haven’t found the answer. Still, we know how good he is and he knows it too.”

Herbert: Plenty of drivers saw their talent evaporate

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Herbert expressed bewilderment while trying to deduce what could be the cause of Ricciardo’s struggles. He then mentioned how some drivers can lose their talent and skill in a jiffy.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo arrives at the circuit REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

If it’s already causing us headaches, think what it’s like for him,” said the 57-year-old. “But what’s happened? He’s not too old, he hasn’t had a bad crash. There have been plenty of drivers for whom it [their talent] just evaporated.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With his teammate Lando Norris scoring consistently this season, McLaren certainly have a strong package. And with six races to go, Ricciardo will hope to end his debut season with the British outfit on a high. Especially considering next season ushers in a new era of the motor sport.

WATCH STORY: Daniel Ricciardo Set to Drive NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt’s 1984 Chevrolet Car at Texas

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanket Nair

876 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT