‘I went pretty dark’: Daniel Ricciardo goes viral with ‘finger gun’ at Mexican GP

Daniel Ricciardo was awarded a 10-second time penalty for hitting Yuki Tsunoda on Lap 51/71 at the 2022 Mexican GP.

Daniel Ricciardo seemed to be driving a Red Bull at the Mexican Grand Prix last weekend, after showing a driving personality and confidence not seen by the Aussie since his days at the Austrian side.

With the Honey Badger set to be on the side-lines in 2023 following his imminent McLaren departure, the 33-year-old had “nothing to lose” at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday.

The Australian was arguably on the best strategy at the weekend, at least in regard to the midfield.

Whilst most of the field completed a Medium-Hard or Soft-Medium strategy, Ricciardo ran a deep opening stint on the middle compound, before switching to the Softs late on.

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This saw Ricciardo have a supreme grip and speed advantage over the midfield, which saw him fly through the field from 12th to seventh.

His stint on the Softs started in the worst way possible, though, after being awarded a 10-second time penalty for hitting Yuki Tsunoda at Turn Six on Lap 51/71, which resulted in the Japanese driver retiring.

Ricciardo’s hopes of a points finish then appeared to be diminished as a result of the penalty, which he “figured” he’d be awarded.

“Yeah, I figured they probably had to do something,” explained Ricciardo.

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“But I also it’s so hard when you’re in the heat of battle, but I didn’t remember locking. With Carlos [Sainz] in Imola Turn 1, when I went off the apex and slid into him. It didn’t feel like that.

“So I was going to come on the radio and vent a little, but I just chose to say nothing. I went pretty dark, and then just decided to keep pushing and try to make up for it.”

“Keep pushing” is just what he did, as he overtook Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso, before finding himself behind Esteban Ocon for P7.

It was at this moment on the start/finish straight that he produced a prime-Ricciardo moment, after being captured on camera pulling a ‘finger gun’ directed at Ocon, whilst preparing to overtake the Frenchman.

The action was something fans “loved to see”, with the fan favourite seemingly enjoying himself for arguably the first-time since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

After the clip hit social media, fans quickly flooded the comments section with praise for the eight-time GP winner, who looks set for a reserve role at Mercedes next season.

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“This has to be the first race in so so many others Danny was having fun. You love to see it,” said a social media user.

Another added: “These moments of brilliance from him remind me of back when he was at Red Bull.”

Ricciardo incredibly, then built a gap of over 10-seconds to Ocon in the final few laps of the race, which saw him maintain his ‘best of the rest’ result after the penalty was added to his finishing time.