Daniel Ricciardo’s exit from the McLaren F1 Team can’t come soon enough, as the 33-year-old faced an embarrassing Q1 exit from qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix.
The Australian will start Sunday’s race from P17, whereas his team-mate, Lando Norris, starts from seventh.
Ricciardo’s qualifying summed up his 2022 season: poor.
The Aussie looked good on Friday at Zandvoort, where he ended the opening day in P10.
The same couldn’t be said on Saturday; however, the Honey Badger’s early elimination wasn’t entirely his fault.
On his final lap in Q1, Ricciardo was set to improve by three to four tenths of a second, more than enough to put him into Q2.
However, the Australian driver encountered dirt on the circuit at the final corner, which resulted in a significant loss of grip.
“[At the] second last corner I guess whoever was in front of me, they put a wheel in the dirt or something,” he told F1.com.
“So as soon as I pulled out of the chicane, corkscrew, whatever, I was looking obviously up to the next apex and could see just brown all over the track.
“A lot of dirt and I was hoping it wouldn’t affect the grip, but it did and cost me about three tenths, I think, so that was a difference, putting me out in Q1.
“I think the lap was…it was okay. It’s not electrifying but it was definitely good enough to keep going in qualy and I think then it was probably a couple tenths to find.”
It was Ricciardo’s 21st time being eliminated from Q1, a number he’ll be hoping not to add to before the end of the season.
Whilst he should’ve made it out of Q1, the Aussie wasn’t expected to get out of Q2.
Despite looking strong on Friday, Ricciardo was looking weak on Saturday before qualifying even took place.
The McLaren driver was also P17 after Saturday morning’s FP3 session, where Ricciardo was feeling “pretty lost”.
I don’t think it (his qualifying lap) was tracking to be too bad, especially where we were this morning,” he said.
“We were pretty lost in FP3, scratching our heads. So I think it was trending better, but one of those ones where you can’t do much.
“I try to not get too excited on any Friday. It’s so hard to know this year. I feel like if we have a good Friday, we were always expecting the others to make a step up. Saying that, we are not a Q1 car – I think it was unfortunate circumstances.”