Daniel Ricciardo picks Lewis Hamilton over Max Verstappen, Monaco Grand Prix fear, McLaren, F1 dogfight


Daniel Ricciardo has delivered some bad news for former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton is leading the drivers’ championship as he pushes for an eighth world title, but Verstappen is yapping at his heels. This was the first season in a long time Mercedes was tipped to face a genuine title challenge from Red Bull but Ricciardo says Hamilton is showing why he’s the king, winning three of four races so far.

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“We knew for a long time that this was a little bit a matter of time for Max. We all know what his talent’s like,” Ricciardo said at the launch of McLaren’s special, one-off livery for the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.

“A lot of people are properly tipping their hat to Lewis. He’s getting it dished back at him and he’s holding his ground and showing people, maybe who doubted him, what he is and why he is as good as he is.”

Asked who he’s tipping to win the F1 war, Ricciardo said Hamilton has the edge.

“At this stage, you’d always, I guess, take experience,” he said.

“So if it was really down to the wire, then I think Lewis has showed some strong signs. But then again, if there’s a gap, Max goes for it. That’s why obviously I respect Max a lot.”

Hamilton is staying one step ahead of Verstappen.Source: Getty Images

Ricciardo’s big concern over F1’s glamour event

Drivers return to the Cote d’Azur this weekend for the first time since 2019 after COVID-19 played havoc with last year’s schedule, and Ricciardo will be looking forward to running around on arguably his favourite track.

He finished second in Monaco in 2016 after a pit stop blunder cost him victory, but bounced back in 2018 to win the prestigious race for the first time in his final season with Red Bull. That was the last time Ricciardo stood on the top step of the podium and he’ll be hoping to repeat the dose this time around.

But he’s not getting too worked up ahead of the Monaco GP, fearful it won’t be the same ritzy event he’s used to because of coronavirus restrictions limiting daily crowd numbers to 7500 and keeping grandstands at 40 per cent capacity.

“I am so excited to go there, but I am a bit scared to not get too excited,” Ricciardo said. “We will have some fans, which is a start.

“The build-up, kind of walking through the crowd and fans to get into the pit lane, into your car — it’s already kind of chaotic before you get into the car, so your heart rate is already up and the circuit’s going to do the rest for you.

“So maybe there will be a little bit more calm before the storm.”

Ricciardo added the whole thing may feel a bit “empty”.

“The whole aura of the boats and everyone and people on the track at the end of the day drinking and partying — not having that to that level will probably feel a little empty but for the in-car stuff I think we’ll probably be OK,” he said.

Ricciardo is still coming to grips with life at McLaren.Source: Getty Images

Ricciardo is still struggling with some aspects of his new McLaren, in particular the brakes locking up. But he showed promising signs by finishing sixth at the Spanish Grand Prix, beating teammate Lando Norris for the first time this year.

However, the adjustment period has Ricciardo feeling “like a beginner” again as McLaren walks him through the steps needed to master the car.

On the weekend, a young woman from Europe detailed the night she spent with Ricciardo while holidaying in Spain two years ago, calling the Honey Badger the “sweetest man on earth”.

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Daniel Ricciardo makes humbling admission, McLaren problems, Spanish GP results


Daniel Ricciardo feels “like a beginner” again as he adjusts to working with a new team in 2021.

The Aussie F1 star has taken time getting used to life at McLaren after leaving Renault last year and is still struggling with some aspects of the car, in particular the brakes locking up.

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He finished sixth at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, beating teammate Lando Norris in a race for the first time this year, finally making the most of his qualifying advantage over the Brit.

Ricciardo revealed he’s receiving very clear instructions from race engineer Tom Stallard, as McLaren works hard to ensure its new recruit gets up to speed as quickly as possible after some early teething problems.

“It’s like being a beginner all over again, being tutored every corner!” Ricciardo said, per the official F1 website. “‘Good job, do that better, OK, improve a bit more here’.

“Obviously the feedback I’m getting from the team is good and they’re obviously trying to get me into some good habits with this car and the characteristics.

“So things like that, whether it’s braking or the way you get on throttle, it’s something unique and I guess I’m still having to be a little bit conscious about that and teach myself enough that it does become natural.”

After a horror qualifying session the week prior in Portugal, Ricciardo enjoyed returning to the familiar surrounds of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where drivers complete their pre-season testing each year.

Knowing the track intimately helped compensate for his uncertainties with the car and he was able to hold his own across the entire weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo is still getting used to things.Source: AFP

McLaren isn’t expecting Ricciardo to work wonders immediately, knowing it will take time for him to adapt, and team boss Andreas Seidl is confident the Honey Badger will turn out to be a major asset.

“I’m obviously very happy with how it went in terms of integration of Daniel into our team,” Seidl said, per motorsport.com. “I think we all know what personality Daniel is, which character he is, so I wouldn’t say that it’s a surprise how he approached these challenging first races with us.

“We are not there yet where we want to be, where Daniel wants to be but as I said many times I’m 100 per cent convinced it’s just a matter of more races and then we will see performance as we are used to from Daniel.”

McLaren is working on some upgrades to this year’s car but will soon turn its focus to development on the four-wheeler for 2022, which will be a treat to see in full flight when Ricciardo has fully come to grips with everything.

“We will see the real benefit not just in terms of speed but also in terms of his experience helping us to keep developing the car further together with Lando,” Seidl said.

“As a team boss what I need is simply two drivers that are pushing each other, that are pushing the other cars on track. Because if you want to stay in this fight in the constructors’ championship, you need to have always two cars being there, with two drivers being always in position to score good points.”

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Daniel Rioli’s girlfriend uploads sweet post after difficult week in the headlines


Paris Lawrence hadn’t weighed into Daniel Rioli’s foray into the headlines during the week but showed her support for the AFL star on Saturday night after he helped Richmond clinch a thrilling win over GWS.

Rioli booted the matchwinning goal as the Tigers beat the Giants 13.9 (87) to 12.11 (83) courtesy of a late fourth quarter surge.

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Rioli and Richmond teammate Shai Bolton were involved in a nightclub fight last weekend, which broke out because of another patron’s “inappropriate” act towards Rioli’s partner Lawrence.

The Tigers defended the duo, maintaining they were not in the wrong as Rioli ended up needing stitches to his face and Bolton fractured his wrist in the incident, putting him out of action for several weeks.

Lawrence, a DJ and Instagram influencer, hasn’t commented publicly on the brawl but paid tribute to Rioli on social media after he put the week of scrutiny behind him with a game-winning contribution on Saturday night.

She tagged her boyfriend in a video on her Instagram story celebrating the victory, with the caption “YTB!!” — meaning “Yeah the boys”.

Lawrence also posted a picture of a smiling Rioli, accompanied by an emoji with love-heart eyes.

Rioli allegedly stepped in to defend Lawrence when she was the subject of “inappropriate behaviour” from another person at the Melbourne nightclub. He was reportedly then punched in the face and required two stitches underneath his eye, sporting a bruised look when he turned up to training on Tuesday.

Bolton intervened, which saw him fracture his wrist. Richmond CEO Brendon Gale wasn’t aware of specifics around how the injury occurred when asked by reporters during the week if Bolton had thrown a punch.

Speaking on Fox Footy’s AFL 360, Richmond coachDamien Hardwick conceded the timing of the incident “wasn’t ideal”, but threw his support behind his players.

“A player’s partner was put in an inappropriate situation that she didn’t feel comfortable with, and Daniel (Rioli) stood up and tried to eradicate the situation (and) was punched in the eye,” Hardwick said.

“Once again I don’t condone violence, but the reality is, put anyone in that situation, they’re going to stand up for their partner and their mates. Shai was the same.

“It was a difficult situation, it’s not one ideally we want to be in, but the reality is we are where we are.

“We’ve spoken to the players at length, once again, we go through a thorough process.

“From our point of view, we’re backing the players. We’re disappointed that it’s come to that situation like we said. We don’t condone violence, but we understand these situations happen from time to time. Doesn’t make it right.”

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Tik Tok user details wild night with Daniel Ricciardo in Ibiza


A young woman from Europe has detailed how she discovered something all of Australia already knew — Daniel Ricciardo is the “sweetest man on earth”.

Sara Ayter has detailed how she unexpectedly met the Australian Formula One star while holidaying in Spain two years ago.

The Euro beauty was sightseeing on the island of Formentera with two friends in 2019 when they met a group of lads with a pretty sizeable boat.

“We were taking pictures in Beso Beach, and three guys came up to us and said they were going back to Ibiza on their private boat and asked us if we wanted to join,” Ayter said in a series of videos.

“On our way to the private boat me and my friends got scared because there were like nine guys and we were three girls, and we were in the middle of the ocean with no connection. But they were so nice, they were dancing all the time, they let us play us some music, they gave us drinks.”

Sara Ayter retold the story to her TikTok followers.Source: TikTok TikTok
Sara Ayter described Daniel Ricciardo as “the sweetest man on earth”.Source: TikTok TikTok

Ayter started to get the inkling they were partying with some high-profile people and her trio ended up joining them at a house party.

“We had tickets to Steve Aoki that night — but we didn’t care because we had better plans to do,” she said.

“We ended up going to their house, we thought it was going to a huge party or something, with a lot of girls but we were the only ones there, it was the best house I’ve ever been to.”

It was when she noticed a blue tick on the Aussie’s Instagram the penny dropped he was no ordinary Ibiza partygoer.

“We had drinks, we played games, we stayed over,” she said. “The day after I was swimming in the pool and Daniel was the only one awake. I was cold and he asked me if I wanted his shirt, so I swam with his shirt.”

Sara Ayter at the Ushuaia Beach Hotel in Ibiza.Source: Instagram
Sara Ayter was on the island of Formontera with friends when she met Daniel Ricciardo.Source: Instagram

Ricciardo has always adopted a never kiss-and-tell approach to his romantic life but Ayter confirmed what many suspected — the Perth-raised star has a “huge heart”.

“He was the entire time making sure we were all right. They were all so, so nice. He was the coolest human,” she said.

“Daniel was the entire time dancing, making jokes, smiling. Like he has a huge heart.

“Now we finally know who he is. He’s Daniel Ricciardo, but first of all he’s an amazing human.”

Daniel Ricciardo can be seen in the background of this photo.Source: TikTok TikTok
Daniel Ricciardo spent part of the European summer in 2019 holidaying with Aussie cricket star Marcus Stoinis.Source: Instagram

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Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Spanish Grand Prix results, Monaco Grand Prix, Ross Brawn, updates, reaction


Daniel Ricciardo was left ruing “what could have been” after a crucial mistake from McLaren at the Spanish Grand Prix but F1 pundits believe it could actually work in his favour.

Ricciardo beat teammate Lando Norris for the first time in a Grand Prix, having out-qualified the Brit prior in three of four races.

The Aussie declared it a step in the right direction, although it could have been even better had it not been for an error that was not Ricciardo’s own doing.

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Hamilton claims 100th career pole! | 00:57

Ricciardo was one of the final drivers to leave the pits for his final run and was stuck behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, unable to complete his flying lap before the chequered flag came out.

It saw Ricciardo qualify seventh but speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, F1 commentator Tom Clarkson described it as a “line in the sand” moment for the 31-year old. 

“Nice for him in a way that McLaren made a bit of a mess in qualifying. They’ve completely held their hand up,” Clarkson said.

“He didn’t get his final run in Q3 because they timed it wrong and he just didn’t cross the line in time.

“Yes, he’s come in for a bit of criticism recently — ‘Why are you taking so long to get up to speed (at a new team)’ — but actually when the team drops the ball as well, he’s probably thinking, ‘Alright, we’ve all had our moments, let’s move on together’.

“This might be the line in the sand for him where he really comes good.”

Ricciardo apologises for sloppy error | 00:48

Ricciardo has previously admitted that he still has more to adapt to since making the switch to McLaren, adding he is not naive as to expect instant results.

Natalie Pinkham though added on the podcast that Ricciardo’s output so far has been more impressive than many have given him credit for.

“When you look at the stats he’s still 3-1 out-qualified Lando, his first four races at a team,” she said.

“That’s really impressive when you consider how much you do need to adapt when you join a new team.”

Speaking of the recent mistake at the Spanish Grand Prix, the key will be how Ricciardo responds and works with McLaren to ensure the hiccup does not happen again.

In a column for Formula1.com, Ross Brawn wrote that one of the biggest challenges facing Ricciardo will be how he actually articulates any issues he has with the team.

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RICCIARDO FLIPS THE SCRIPT ON TEAMMATE BEFORE MAKING ‘CRAZY’ ADMISSION

Hamilton claims 97th win at Portugal GP | 03:18

“The challenge a driver faces when changing teams should not be underestimated. I think some drivers are better at coping at that than others,” he wrote.

“Historically, some drivers have walked into teams and they know exactly what they want and how to articulate that.

“It depends completely on the personality of that driver. There are so many nuances in the relationship between an engineer and a driver. It may take some time for an engineer to understand the magnitude of a complaint or request. Getting that relationship right is vital – and it’s only natural that it can take some time.”

Ricciardo did though laud his team for “two good stops” after the race, declaring it was “definitely a step in the right direction” after a horror Q1 at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

“It was personally a better weekend, for sure,” Ricciardo said.

“It is definitely a step in the right direction, it is progress. I’m still learning, it sounds crazy to say that but still learning how to be better with this car.

“The race was good. We do the race five more times a day and I think six is the best we can finish. Every car ahead was faster, and even Carlos behind was faster. So getting him at the start was critical and that allowed me to finish sixth. The team executed a good two stops. We changed the plan later in the race and it was the right call.”

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Why the Richmond Football Club isn’t punishing Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli


In the Tigers’ telling, this is a simple, familiar case of player sticks up for girlfriend, and teammate defends teammate.

The non-punishment rests on Richmond’s assessment of a few key factors, the after-hours equivalent to the MRO’s criteria of impact, intent and location.

The first factor was that the players, who might have had a couple of drinks, had not been intoxicated.

Second, the incident was said to have taken place just after midnight, rather than in a dangerous time slot around 2am or later. “Nothing good happens after 1am,” as the clubs often say.

Third, there’s no police involvement, nor legal repercussions – in contrast to Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones, caught kebab-handed last September by police.

Further, in the Richmond assessment, the players were not the aggressors. They were acting in self-defence.

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Finally, Richmond’s position is very much influenced by their view of Rioli and Bolton as decent young men who don’t court trouble and are truthful. Since no CCTV footage has yet surfaced from the city nightclub, and no one has come forward to contradict the players’ story (which happened in the Dustin Martin “chopsticks” incident – patrons in the restaurant essentially backed Dusty), the Tigers have no reason to dispute that version.

That said, the club could have adopted the same philosophy of “strict liability” that the AFL enforces for players who choose to bump – even if they didn’t collect the player high, they are suspended if the victim is concussed or injured.

In this scenario, Richmond would say to Bolton and Rioli: “You’ve chosen to be out late, in a nightspot with alcohol in abundance, even though you weren’t pissed. Trouble has found you, and you’re liable for putting yourselves in harm’s way. So we’re fining/suspending you/putting you on notice and demanding an apology.″⁣

The one argument against leniency that Richmond have considered but not pursued is the question of whether, in those fateful seconds after Rioli was struck, Bolton had another another choice – like the player who chooses to bump. What reasonable alternative did Bolton have?

Could Bolton have walked away from the fight? If one suspects that he had that option (what would Cotchin, Shane Edwards or Jack Riewoldt have done?) it’s harder to judge when you’re not there and have no footage.

Brendon Gale, the club chief executive, acknowledged on Tuesday that it would have been better if the pair had not been out, while adding that they had to be allowed to live their lives.

As one official from a rival club who’s dealt with many such incidents pointed out, these fracas or confrontations are common, but they only become issues if a player gets arrested or, as in Bolton’s case, hurt.

Gale was quick to say on Tuesday that this incident would have no bearing on Bolton’s contract negotiations. Once upon a time at Tigerland, the fact of Bolton being a gun player coming off contract would probably have been grounds for cynicism about a non-penalty.

Richmond aren’t that kind of club any longer.

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F1 news 2021: Daniel Ricciardo blunder haunts Red Bull, Max Verstappen pit stop, Red Bull mistake, Spanish GP results, Lewis Hamilton wins


Daniel Ricciardo may be long gone but one of his most painful memories lives on at Red Bull.

Max Verstappen was Lewis Hamilton’s bridesmaid once again this season as the Dutchman finished second at the Spanish Grand Prix behind the seven-time world champion, who scored his third win from four races in 2021.

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Hamilton makes HUGE comeback to win

Hamilton makes HUGE comeback to win

2:56

Hamilton was flawless en route to victory, doing brilliantly to recover from being overtaken by Verstappen ahead of Turn 1 and fight off his Red Bull rival.

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Richmond pair Shai Bolton, Daniel Rioli injured in nightclub fight


Richmond forwards Daniel Rioli and Shai Bolton have both been injured in a nightclub fight over the weekend.

The Tigers confirmed Bolton sustained a fractured wrist and would require surgery due to the incident, which Richmond said was sparked by Rioli’s girlfriend being “subjected to inappropriate behaviour”.

“Rioli was punched after confronting the patron and suffered a cut under his eye that required two stitches,” a club statement read.

“Bolton became involved in the ensuing altercation and sustained a fractured wrist that will require surgery. He will be sidelined for the next two to three weeks.”

The statement did not suggest the club would sanction either player.

The injury comes at a bad time for 22-year-old Bolton, who has become one of the Tigers’ best and most influential players in recent weeks.

Shai Bolton soars to take a mark against Geelong.(

AAP: Scott Barbour

)

He thrived during Dustin Martin’s brief absence as a livewire up front. And his incredible leap in Friday night’s game against Geelong is likely to win mark of the year.

Rioli, 24, has played all but one game so far this season and has kicked seven goals.

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Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s 100 pole position, reacts, Daniel Ricciardo rues ‘what could have been’


Lewis Hamilton has made history yet again, becoming the first driver in Formula One history to claim 100 pole positions at the Spanish Grand Prix.

It’s yet another incredible record for Hamilton in his unparalleled career, where he is hunting for a record eighth world title.

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He will start alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished second ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The front row of the grid is important as 28 of the 31 races at the track have gone to a driver on the front row of the grid.

But the McLaren’s will start with Daniel Ricciardo in seventh, while Lando Norris is in ninth – Ricciardo’s third qualifying win over his teammate in the season’s fourth race.

Ricciardo cost himself a shot at a higher position but as the last one out of the garage in Q3, he was stuck behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and didn’t make it back around to take his flying lap.

Luckily, it didn’t cost him too much as only Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc improved on his first lap, pushing Ricciardo down from sixth to seventh, while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez moved into eighth after spinning out on his first lap.

While Ricciardo could have potentially improved his position, at least the error wasn’t too costly.

But speaking after the session, Ricciardo was still ruing the missed opportunity.

Asked if it was a good day because he out qualified Norris, Ricciardo said: “It’s funny, everyone’s interpretation is as long as … the narrative, for sure, is that it’s taken time to get up to speed.

“On that as well, Lando has been driving exceptionally well so these two factors have been challenging I guess. From that note, it’s been a more positive day.

“In saying that, there’s maybe a bit of a what could have been because we missed the last run. We ran out of time so it was a bit of a Monza scenario a couple of years ago. So I think it was a tenth to fourth and I think a tenth is always there, especially when I’m still trying to get on top of the car so maybe that was there. But nonetheless a much better day and happier, even from yesterday and obviously a week ago. But progress, progress means positivity.”

Former F1 champion Jenson Button said Ricciardo’s main issue had been his race pace, where he had ended up a long way behind Norris.

Ricciardo had a much better day on Saturday than he did on Friday after a sneaky upgrade fell flat with Ricciardo well back in 15th.

Saturday wasn’t perfect for the McLaren’s with Lando Norris landing in the gravel in P3, but ultimately finished sixth, while Ricciardo was eighth in the final practice session of the weekend.

The qualifying session was delayed for 10 minutes after a crash in the Formula 3 race earlier meant a barrier had to be repaired.

Ricciardo had a good run on his first lap in Q1 but Norris didn’t – held up by a traffic jam as he got back to the starting line, losing plenty of time in his final sector.

But Norris stunned, going the fastest for the first session, showing the speed the McLaren has at its disposal.

While neither was up as far in the Q2, both McLaren’s qualified for Q3 with Norris sixth and Ricciardo eighth, with his late lap knocking both Aston Martin’s out of qualifying.

‘Astonishing’ F1 history made in Spain

The world was stunned but not surprised by Hamilton’s achievement as the first man to bring up a century of pole positions.

To put it in context, only Sebastian Vettel, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher have more than 50 poles with Schumacher next best on 68.

Sky Sports David Croft added: ““Five constructors have achieved 100 poles in F1, Lewis Hamilton is the first driver to achieve it all by himself.”

Only Ferrari’s 228, McLaren’s 155, Williams and Mercedes’ 128 and Lotus’ 107 poles are ahead of Hamilton, such is the incredible achievement.

The Brit said he couldn’t believe the achievement.

“I can’t believe we’re at 100 and it’s down to the men and women who are back at the factory who are continuously raising the bar and never giving up,” he said. “The support that I have, it’s a dream for me to work with these guys and the journey that we have been on has been immense.

“Who would have thought at the end of 2012 when we made the decision to partner we would be qualifying at 100. So I feel very humble and very grateful. I’m ecstatic, like it’s my first.”

He even took to Twitter, writing “I can’t even begin to describe how this feels.

Social media went nuts for Hamilton, although some people couldn’t hand it to him even though he nabbed another record.

Spanish Grand Prix Starting Grid

Row 1: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

Row 2: Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Row 3: Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

Row 4: Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

Row 5: Lando Norris (McLaren) – Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

Row 6: Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

Row 7: Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

Row 8: George Russell (Williams) – Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

Row 9: Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) – Mick Schumacher (Haas)

Row 10: Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – Nikita Mazepin (Haas)

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F1 news 2021: Daniel Ricciardo reveals major flaw, Lando Norris battle, McLaren problem, Portugal GP results


Daniel Ricciardo was happy to bounce back at the Portuguese Grand Prix after a horror run in qualifying but knew there were issues he and McLaren must address.

The Aussie F1 star was knocked out in Q1 as qualifying turned into a disaster, but was able to move up from 16th on the grid to finish ninth in the main event and walk away with some points.

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Post-race Ricciardo spoke in general terms about what was going wrong, having finished behind teammate Lando Norris for the third successive time this season. While the young Brit finished on the podium in Italy and came fourth in Bahrain and Portugal, Ricciardo only managed to cross the line seventh and sixth in the first two races of the year.

Teething problems were to be expected with a new team after leaving Renault at the end of 2020, and Ricciardo spoke on the weekend about the difficulties he was facing in his new car and the need to tweak some things with its set-up.

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