Ricciardo in the F1 points again
Monday 25 July, 2022
Photo: McLaren F1 Media
Daniel Ricciardo has enjoyed FIA Formula 1 World Championship points for the second consecutive round after finishing ninth in the French Grand Prix overnight.
In what has been a difficult year for the Australian, his P9 at Circuit Paul Ricard was his fourth top-10 finish for the year and the first time he has claimed back-to-back points.
Ahead of him, there was plenty of drama at the front of the field as Max Verstappen picked up his seventh win of the season at the expense of polesitter Charles Leclerc, who crashed out on lap 18.
Reaching the chequered flag behind the reigning champion to round out the podium were Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who finished 10 seconds behind Verstappen, and George Russell a further six seconds off.
For McLaren star Ricciardo, it was a solid race after what was a difficult qualifying session.
The West Australian had shown some pace in the weekend’s practice sessions but was unable to have the same impact in qualifying, finishing in 11th and just missing out on advancing to Q3 by less than one tenth.
Ricciardo was then promoted to ninth after qualifying due to Kevin Magnusson and Carlos Sainz being demoted to the back to the grid for engine penalties.
Upon lights out, Ricciardo made a terrific start and moved up a spot where he was in a battle with McLaren teammate Lando Norris.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to pass Norris and was forced to focus on defending former Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon behind him.
The duo enjoyed a longstanding battle throughout the race, however Ricciardo lost out to Ocon on track.
The Aussie was handed a boost when Ocon was given a five second penalty for spinning Yuki Tsunoda at the start of the race.
On track for an eighth-place finish, Ricciardo once again found himself battling with Ocon towards the end of the race but again, couldn’t hold off the Frenchman and was passed in the final stages.
Despite losing out to Ocon, Ricciardo was pleased to finish in the points again.
“It was fun to go side-by-side but I got overtaken so it wasn’t that fun,” Ricciardo said.
"I tried to hold on to Esteban as long as I could. But yeah, in the end, obviously, he got me there in [Turn] 10.
“The first part of the stint, I felt like I can just stay with him and then when they’re kind of getting a bit more out of the tyre or the pace, that’s when I started to drop off and lose the grip that is kind of keeping you there with them.
“So yeah, like that tailing off and not being able to then get more out of it is where it’s still… that’s where the race kind of gets away from me.
“It’s points so that’s a positive. It’s only ninth but still important.
“I felt like I did the best that I could – but it’s not enough to make me happy.”
As for the championship battle, Verstappen’s win puts the Dutchman 63 points ahead of Leclerc, while Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez sits just seven points behind the Ferrari star in third place.
It’s back-to-back weekends for the F1 championship, with the Hungarian Grand Prix taking place on Sunday.