Daniel Ricciardo has endured a challenging outing at the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, finishing the 2021 Formula 1 season’s second round in sixth place.
In what was a dramatic race in Imola with multiple racing incidents and crashes due to difficult weather conditions, Ricciardo battled hard through the 63-lap race but couldn’t make up any places by the end.
Having started from P6, Ricciardo got off to a brilliant start and managed to move up to fifth on the opening lap, before having to give up his place to teammate Lando Norris due to team orders.
Norris ultimately climbed event further up the field to finish on the podium behind race winner Max Verstappen and runner-up Lewis Hamilton, who benefitted from the red flagged session after a major crash between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas.
Despite struggling with the car throughout the race, Ricciardo still enjoyed a smooth run behind the wheel, defending his position from a late flurry of attacks and eventually settling for sixth.
“It was certainly challenging,” Ricciardo said post-race.
“The two most challenging parts were the laps to grid, We couldn’t see how much it had rained on the first sector. There was so much rain. That was a battle about surviving.
“And the second was on the start. Even being towards the front, visibility was difficult. There was so much spray. But that start bit worked out okay for me, I made up a position and from them it was just kind of a hold on and hope for the best.
“I needed to swallow my pride. The team gave me plenty of time to show my pace. There were some laps where I had a bit and I could kind of do a decent time. I think they gave me the time to show what I had, but it wasn’t enough,
“It’s going to take a bit of time. The season is long. It’s only race two, but of course I want to be quicker already. I just need to keep circulating laps and try to understand it.
“I think the positive is that Lando had a strong weekend, obviously on the podium and it’s better he finished there than him in P12, which could show we’re not really quick at all.”
Ricciardo now sits equal sixth with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on the championship standings with 14 points apiece and 30 points adrift from the championship leader in Hamilton who leads Verstappen by one point on 44 points, while Norris’ second career podium sees him in third place on 27 points.
The FIA Formula 1 World Championship continues early next month with the Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit on Monday 3 May at 12:00 AEST.