WATCH: Daniel Ricciardo Takes a Moment to Himself After Upsetting P12 in Hungary

Published 08/03/2021, 10:10 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


It’s been a rocky road for McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo. The first half of the season has concluded, and the Aussie is nowhere near where he used to be. After a season-best P5 in Silverstone, Ricciardo arrived at Budapest excited for a track where he was once victor. However, after a disappointing P12 finish, Ricciardo took a moment to himself before parking his car after the race finish.

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As the other drivers head to their garages, Ricciardo sat behind with his head in his hands. A disappointed Honey Badger reflected on what could have been; another casualty of the T1 incident, Leclerc collided with the McLaren, sending Ricciardo spinning off the track.

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Getting out of the cockpit, Ricciardo gives the machine a little tap; almost like a gesture of reassurance. He proceeds to sit on the car’s worn tires as the drivers in front of him wrap up. An unusual sight of the driver, one whose positivity is contagious across the grid. To see the cheery driver downcast is a truly heartbreaking sight.

A man who once frequented podiums, it’s been over a year since he stood on one. Ricciardo has been working hard off the track, practicing in simulators and clocking in at the McLaren HQ. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t been reflecting on the track.

What could’ve been for Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo won at the Hungaroring 7 years ago, and it would be devastating to finish the same track without points. If Leclerc’s collision would’ve been avoided, Daniel would have fought for P2. He said, “For a moment I thought I got through the chaos in Turn 1.” 

Daniel explained,” The start was good, I think I got through two or three off the line; obviously I saw Valtteri go into Lando, who got into Max at the start, and I was able to get through that in second. I was like, ‘OK, I obviously felt like I got through it…”

The crash damaged the McLaren, compromising the right side of the car. He listed his problems: “So we don’t have the fastest car, and with some compromise, it hurts. And with a tricky track to pass, it’s just hard to do anything, and it started to get away from us at the end there.”

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DR3 shared his dismay on Instagram as well, claiming to “need a beer” after the tough race. What might have been a podium for Ricciardo ended up as another pointless race. He has targeted the podium for a while, but his issues with the MCL35M have got in the way.

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Nonetheless, it’s summer break for the Honey Badger, time to recharge and get his smile back to the grid. The second half of the season presents Ricciardo with 12 opportunities to stand on the podium. A shoey has been a long time coming for Danny Ric.

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Shreya Sanjeev

361 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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