The Curious Enigma of Ricciardo's Disastrous F1 ComebackFormula1,Ricciardo,F1comeback,Enigma,Disastrous
The Curious Enigma of Ricciardo's Disastrous F1 Comeback

The Curious Enigma of Ricciardo’s Disastrous F1 Comeback

4 minutes, 37 seconds Read

Texas hasn’t been too kind: Mystery behind Daniel Ricciardo‘s horror return from injury

By Emily Patterson

4 hours ago

It was a disappointing return to Formula 1 for Daniel Ricciardo after a disastrous United States Grand Prix left him finishing dead last. Ricciardo had broken his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix and was hoping for a triumphant comeback, but instead, he crossed the finish line in 17th place, later classified as 15th due to disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.

The Race

Ricciardo started the race in 15th place on the grid and made a good start, moving up five positions early on. He was as high as seventh at one point, thanks to some pit stops and early retirements by other drivers. However, as the race progressed, Ricciardo began to slip back through the field. His one-stop strategy didn’t work out as he had hoped, and he struggled to gain any momentum. He finished seven places behind his AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda and last among the drivers who completed the race.

Issues with Strategy and Damage

Ricciardo‘s team, AlphaTauri, decided to abandon their unsuccessful one-stop strategy and called him in for a late pit stop to switch to soft tyres. Former driver Martin Brundle commented on the change, stating, “The one-stop strategy wasn’t working. He’s put the soft tyres on and just set the fastest lap of the race.” The on-board footage of the pit stop also revealed that the pit crew removed a large piece of debris from the front end of Ricciardo‘s car.

AlphaTauri later communicated to Ricciardo over the team radio that there was damage to the front brake duct, causing them to lose aerodynamic load and balance. Ricciardo expressed his disappointment with the race, saying, “Texas hasn’t been too kind… At the start, we were doing well with our plan, but the problem was once the cars with blue flags came up behind us, we lost too much. We seemed to struggle in traffic, and then we picked up some damage later on, so after that, we lacked pace.”

Analysis and Outlook

AlphaTauri’s technical director, Jody Egginton, confirmed that the pace drop-off was indeed due to the damage sustained by Ricciardo‘s car. Despite the setback, he praised Ricciardo‘s well-managed first stint, which had opened up strategy options for him. However, the damage hindered his performance, causing him to fall back and lose pace. The team took the gamble of stopping again in the hopes of a late race safety car, but unfortunately, no incidents occurred, and Ricciardo could not move forward.

Ricciardo‘s switch to soft tyres did allow him to set the fastest lap before Tsunoda took it on his last lap. However, only drivers who finish in the top 10 can claim the bonus point for the fastest lap. Tsunoda, who was promoted to eighth place due to disqualifications, earned four championship points as well as the additional point for the fastest lap.

Ricciardo remains determined and optimistic despite the disappointing race. He mentioned that physically, he felt better than the previous day and that the sprint race had served as a good warm-up for the Grand Prix. He sees this race as a learning opportunity and is now ready to give his all in the upcoming race in Mexico.

Opinion and Advice

It’s undeniable that Daniel Ricciardo had a rough return to Formula 1 after his injury. There were elements beyond his control, such as the damage sustained to his car and traffic on the track. However, it’s also important to analyze the team’s strategy and decision-making in race scenarios.

For Ricciardo‘s comeback to be successful, it’s crucial that AlphaTauri evaluates their race strategies and ensures that they have backup plans in place in case the initial strategy doesn’t work out. Additionally, efforts must be made to minimize the risk of damage to the car, which can significantly impact a driver’s performance.

On Ricciardo‘s part, he needs to focus on maintaining his physical and mental health, especially after recovering from an injury. Building up his strength and endurance will be key to maintaining his performance throughout the race. Furthermore, he should use each race as an opportunity to learn and gather valuable experience.

Ultimately, the road to success in Formula 1 is seldom smooth. While setbacks are inevitable, it’s crucial to stay determined, adapt to changing circumstances, and continue to strive for improvement. As Ricciardo said, now is the time for “full attack” in Mexico. With the right mindset, strategy, and support from his team, he can turn the tide and showcase his true potential.


The Curious Enigma of Ricciardo
<< photo by Tim Ngwena >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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Hannah McKenzie

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