Ricciardo picks up first points for 2022 on home soil
Sunday 10 April, 2022
Daniel Ricciardo has picked up his first points for the year, finishing sixth in the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix 2022.
In what was the first FIA Formula 1 World Championship race at Albert Park in more than three years, Ricciardo enjoyed a solid result in front of a record home crowd.
Having qualified P7 for Sunday’s race, Ricciardo had a clean run off the start line and avoided any trouble.
For much of the 58-lap race, he did everything he had to do as he trailed McLaren teammate Lando Norris, which included passing drivers when he needed to.
Although he was unable to pass his teammate during the race, both drivers were elevated to fifth and sixth respectively when Max Verstappen had to retire due to his RB18 catching on fire.
Upon the Virtual Safety Car Restart, the duo continued to punch out strong laps before reaching the finish line within one and a half seconds of each other.
Ahead of them, a dominant performance from Charles Leclerc saw the Ferrari star pick up his second win of the 2022 season as he led from lights out to the chequered flag.
Although there were some challenges early from Verstappen, the Dutchman’s retirement gave Leclerc some extra breathing room as he crossed the line with a comfortable 20-second buffer.
It wasn’t all bad for Red Bull though as Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez claimed second place and vital points for the Constructors' Championship, while Mercedes’ George Russell picked up his first podium for the season in third.
The clinical performance from Leclerc bumped him further ahead on the championship standings as both Verstappen and Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz both retired – the latter retiring after a spin early in the race.
Remarkably, Russell now moves to second place on the championship standings ahead of Sainz and Verstappen, moving to 34 points behind after Leclerc also secured the bonus points.
Ricciardo's P6 sees him kick start his 2022 campaign and move to 11th on the standings.
The next round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on 24 April.