A heart-wrenching team radio message from Daniel Ricciardo has emerged after the Australian ended the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in18th and discovered that team-mate Lando Norris had finished on the podium.
Ricciardo had ended the sprint race P6 just behind Norris, but misjudged his braking into Turn One on the opening lap of the race, wiping out Carlos Sainz and causing damage to his diffuser.
The 32-year-old was the first to take the gamble on lap 17 to switch to slick tyres, but the damaged incurred to his car meant that he was unable to make any progress through the field, and eventually pitted again, sending him down to 18thand last of the remaining runners.
Norris, meanwhile, capitalised on a huge error by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at Variante Alta to claim his sixth Formula 1 podium, and a massive result for the Woking side having started the year so poorly in Bahrain, where they failed to score points.
Ricciardo’s race engineer Tom Stallard consoled his driver after the race, and detailed the damage done after the incident with Sainz.
“Recharge on, that was not the afternoon we were hoping for,” Stallard told him over the radio.
“Yep, I struggled. We’ll debrief and try and figure it out,” replied Ricciardo.
Stallard then said: “We do have some damage in the diffuser Daniel, [it’s] difficult to quantify that though because it happened so early in the race, and there’s some damage to the pitot I believe as well.”
Ricciardo: “Obviously if I could have done something better there, I apologise for the first lap.”
Stallard: “The stewards deemed no investigation necessary for the first lap.
“Verstappen and Perez were first and second. Leclerc came off in Turn 15 with 10 laps to go [but] he got going again.”
The British engineer then revealed the finishing order, confirming Norris scored a podium.
“Finishing order: Verstappen, Perez Lando, Russell, Bottas, Leclerc, Tsunoda, Vettel, Magnussen, Stroll,” he said.
“Sorry, did you Lando was…?” replied Ricciardo.
“Yep, Lando was third, yep. So it’s a good result for the team but obviously it’s frustrating on our side.”
“Understood. Alright, we’ll keep at it and yeah well done to those guys,” said the eight-time race winner.
Journalist Joe Saward suggested in his recent blog that McLaren may be looking to draft in IndyCar driver Colton Herta, who is associated with the McLaren team having tested for them and, at just 22 years of age, has taken an astonishing 14 race victories in a combination of IndyCar and Indy Lights, as well as a win in IMSA this year.
“Daniel Ricciardo seems a little lost at McLaren and there continue to be rumours that in 2024 (if not earlier) Daniel will be replaced by Colton Herta, the American who Zak Brown believes could open the gates of Formula 1 to corporate America,” said Saward.
After the race in Imola, Ricciardo headed straight to the Ferrari hospitality unit to apologise to Sainz for the incident that put an abrupt end to the Spaniard’s race, earning praise from the 27-year-old, who affirmed the gesture “says much about Daniel as an athlete and as a sportsman.”