Ricciardo’s solid Italian GP comes to a halt early

Monday 12 September, 2022
Daniel Ricciardo unfortunately retired in the Italian Grand Prix. (Photo: McLaren Media)
Daniel Ricciardo has retired from a Formula 1 race for just the second time this season, after the West Australian had a premature end during the Italian Grand Prix overnight.

In a stark contrast to his remarkable victory at Monza last year, Ricciardo’s McLaren came to halt due to an oil leak on lap 47– ending what had been a largely positive weekend to that point.

Ricciardo started the race on the second row alongside McLaren teammate Lando Norris, after qualifying eighth and being promoted four places due to penalties to other drivers post-qualifying.

Ricciardo got a strong start to the race and jumped Norris off the line to move up to third, before some of the stronger Red Bull and Ferrari cars made it past him once the race settled.

Although he was overtaken, he showed plenty of promise for points against 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly, as he defied a lack of pace and his regular struggles to hold off the Frenchman. 

No matter what Gasly did, Ricciardo didn’t put a foot wrong during the entertaining battle of more than 40 laps, keeping him at bay until the McLaren stopped with just six laps to go.

While it was a frustrating conclusion for the 33-year-old, becoming the third consecutive race winner to DNF at Monza in the succeeding year, he remained positive about his performance overall.

“I got a decent start obviously, was in third, and I was kind of hoping the race would end on Lap 1, another podium would have been really good, but didn’t have the pace,” Ricciardo said post-race.

“I was trying to hang on today with Gasly and he was definitely quicker, so I was happy to hold him off for pretty much the whole race.

“But I wish we had a bit more to show.”

Although Ricciardo wasn’t able to finish, his DNF had major implications on the race with championship leader Max Verstappen taking out the victory under safety car.

Unfortunately, Italian officials struggled to get Ricciardo’s car off the track, meaning the safety car period took longer than expected and Verstappen crossed the line behind the safety car as fellow title rival Charles Leclerc and George Russell rounded out the podium.

The Dutchman’s 11th win for the season edged him closer to his second title, with 116 points now the difference between he and the Ferrari driver, while Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez sits in third after finishing sixth and with the fastest lap.

The Formula 1 World Championship has now concluded its European tour and has two weeks off before heading to Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix on 2 October.  
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