Why Daniel Ricciardo Is Looking Forward to Sprint Qualifying In F1

Published 07/11/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 1, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo arrives at the circuit REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger


The upcoming British Grand Prix will host the first of three sprint qualifying F1 weekends. One driver who could benefit from the new format is McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. After an impressive showing at the Austrian Grand Prix, the Australian could start the main race higher up the grid due to the new format.

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Ahead of Round 10 at Silverstone, the 32-year-old outlined what the approach will be and how it could play to his strengths.

Daniel Ricciardo thinks drivers will treat sprint qualifying like a race

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While the sprint qualifying format is already a part of Formula Two, it will make its debut in F1 at Silverstone. The aim behind introducing sprint qualifying is to make the F1 weekend more interesting.

While Friday’s qualifying session sets the grid for sprint qualifying, Saturday’s 100 KM sprint will set the grid for the race on Sunday. Hence, all 20 drivers don’t get a single day of putting anything less than 100% when they step into the car.

In addition, sprint qualifying could yield an interesting look for the starting grid for the main race. Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Ricciardo believes drivers will have an attacking mindset for sprint qualifying. In addition, he also admitted there is no room for complacency on any day of the weekend.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Clive Rose

He said“I think you have to treat it like a race. You can’t be complacent, otherwise you will start further back on Sunday and then have to take the whole risk.

“So I would say the approach is a completely normal one: try to attack if possible, and make the most of it.” (Translated via Google Translate)

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Ricciardo admits he could start higher up the grid on Sunday

During the triple header, the Honey Badger made quite a few places up on his opening laps. With that confidence, Ricciardo thinks sprint qualifying could help him start the race further up the grid on Sunday.

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The Australian said, “Just like my starts in the last three races, I think I made up at least two places on every first lap. So having a sprint qualifying means that I’ll probably be further up the grid on Sunday!”

With Ricciardo returning to the track where he made his F1 debut, the sprint qualifying format could be what he needs to turn his season around.

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Sanket Nair

351 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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