“Rabbit Outta the Hat” – Daniel Ricciardo Recalls Famous Bahrain Qualifying Ahead of 200th F1 Race

Published 08/24/2021, 4:31 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 30, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo arrives ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix REUTERS/Florion Goga

Daniel Ricciardo will hit an important milestone in his career at the Belgian Grand Prix. He will start in his 200th Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps. Ricciardo reflected on his 10-year journey in the sport with a beaming smile.


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He recalled some major incidents in life and his career in F1. One such incident was when he qualified sixth in the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. At that time, it was his highest starting position, racing for Toro Rosso.

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I kinda kept pulling a rabbit outta the hat: Daniel Ricciardo

As reported by grandprix.co.au, the McLaren driver mentioned that the qualifying at Bahrain was a good confidence booster for him. He also stated that he outperformed the team’s expectations that weekend.

“It was the realization that I was like, alright I do have this, but also that realization was a little bit scary because this is it now–ok you’ve got it so make the most of it,” said Ricciardo.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 07: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 7, 2016, in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“I kinda kept pulling a rabbit outta the hat. When the team was like, ok he’s hit the roof here, and then I’ll do another one.”

The realization and belief were totally different from when he first made his debut in the 2011 British Grand Prix. Ricciardo mentioned that the sport and the drivers intimidated him.

“I won’t lie. I was intimidated by being there. I was excited and yes, I believed in myself, like I knew I didn’t just get out there for the sake of being put there. But as you’ve said, you’ve got all these world champions on the grid and now you’re part of those twenty-twos pretty wild,” said Ricciardo.


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Ricciardo, who was in his first year at Red Bull in 2014, won his first race in Canada. He made a name for himself as ‘the last of the late-brakers’ because of his performance to win in Montreal. Ricciardo recalled when he realized he will win his first race.


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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 27: Pole position qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 27, 2018, in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“For a moment, I’ve still literally got the image in my head, I had a fear that my hands would freeze, and I wouldn’t be able to change gear anymore… because I knew then it was mine to lose because it was so close to the end of the race.

Then as soon as I upshifted out of turn two, I was like sweet I got this,” said Daniel.


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The McLaren driver would hope to emulate his 2014 performance in Belgium when he won the race and celebrate his 200th race in style.

Can Daniel put in a strong performance in his 200th race? Let us know.



Devang Chauhan

343 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sport Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been a ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.