Daniel Ricciardo admitted that the adversity he had endured over the past year, including not being able to see his parents due to coronavirus restrictions, further sweetened his victory at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.
And for men who drink sparkling wine from their shoes on the podium, it certainly has to be very sweet.
For years, 32-year-old Ricardo has been struggling for a normal home, playing a buddy as a priority driver and raising and lowering the hierarchy. He was told to be Ferrari’s lead driver this season. Carlos Sainz then took that position, and Ricardo moved to McLaren to pick up Spanish scrap.
But his relationship with the team has already suggested that he made the right choice. Ferrari continues to work, but McLaren now looks like the true third best team in F1. And when the 2022 rule change begins, they will see more than one Grand Prix honor.
“Some of the speed bumps along the way sweeten it,” he said. “I’m grateful that I still have a tip on my shoulder. Sometimes it was the most difficult year for me. I haven’t avoided it. It makes me understand a little who I am, but Certainly there is a low point, on top of that, and I haven’t seen mom and dad for over a year.
“I’m a loving person and I like the hugs from mom and dad. I was talking to myself and I was convinced that there was nothing to rob me of it. You wouldn’t have predicted this. It’s easy to lose confidence and get lost. I know deeply that it can happen. “
Majestic McLaren shows the value of sprint qualifying
Introducing sprint qualifying to a selected number of races this season will always be frowned upon. The FIA needed a way to jazz up Saturday, and sports can’t hate innovation.
Monza has proved that by hosting a competition on Saturday, we can offer a different racing experience on Sunday. Back on Friday, McLaren was more than a second behind the pace of fastest driver Lewis Hamilton and wasn’t in a position to challenge the podium this weekend. However, a clinical drive in sprint qualifying ensured Ricardo and Norris lockout in the second row. This was further improved by Valtteri Bottas being demoted behind the grid to replace the engine.
This meant Ricardo stabbed pole sitter Verstappen free for the first time this season, and he took the lead properly before the first corner.
This is what the FIA and Liberty Media need – a regular suspect shakeup. If Red Bull didn’t fail Verstappen’s pit stop, it’s possible that there was an entire race for both the Dutch and Hamilton trying to bypass the papaya car.
It made a refreshing difference when compared to the other races of the season, where Hamilton and Verstappen’s focus was frequent at the expense of other fields.
Valtteri still has it
Less than a week after being told that he was no longer needed at Mercedes, Bottas took part in the Silver Arrows in sprint qualifying and took the podium on Sunday 19th.
Bottas’ drive was extraordinary. He also easily passed through the run and jumped eight to the last to the midpoint of the race. He eventually passed Ferrari and Red Bull and cursed him, completely worthy of third place.
If Hamilton crashed and Ricardo’s hero didn’t steal the show, we would be talking about Botta now. His 15 race points, combined with the three points he earned on Saturday, complement Hamilton’s exit as far as the aspirations of the Mercedes World Constructors’ Championship are concerned.
In contrast, Verstappen’s companion Sergio Perez couldn’t even get over both Ferraris. Alfa Romeo has won an extraordinary driver at Bottas next year.
Did Max jump on Lewis?
Toto Wolff claimed to have brought Hamilton a “tactical foul” to prevent Brit from escaping when Verstappen collided in the middle of the race.
“They had a fast crash at Silverstone, where can we go because one car ended up on Lewis’s head over the other?” Said the Mercedes team principal. ..
Does he have any points? Verstappen was certainly pushed out of the corner by Hamilton, so he probably gave up the ground. The Dutch claimed that Hamilton did not give him enough space, yet Steward handed him a third-place penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in two weeks.
So did Max deliberately do it? The accusation is that he knew that Lewis was trying to escape from him, and he was probably rushing ahead towards McLaren. Is it better to ground both drivers than to lose points in a title battle?
Well, probably. But it’s a dangerous game. Verstappen’s right rear tire could have touched Hamilton’s helmet and could have been far worse than his mild complaint of subsequent neck pain, as he would have seen without the Halo device.
We all love wheel-to-wheel racing, but this was probably a bit overkill. The only problem is that both drivers point to the other as blaming one. And Hamilton knows so well that he can’t give up any position in a championship battle.
Ferrari can’t wait for 2022
When Charles Leclerc crashed both Hamilton and Verstappen and the man who started in 19th finished fourth in the podium race, this shows how much Ferrari has fallen in the last few years. Top 5 performance in F1 “.
Leclerc overtook his teammate Sainz in the sprint qualifying and started in 5th place in Monza. And he finished the 53 lap race one place higher.
“There was no more [we could] Do it today. I tried to take it because I had every opportunity, “he said. “As soon as Valtteri overtook me, I tried to overtake him again. And I succeeded, but especially too fast. [in the] Being turn one with the third sector, it has become very vulnerable to overtaking. So overtaking was very difficult and overtaking was also very easy. “
Leclerc couldn’t get close to Ferrari’s biggest rival, McLaren, in the middle of the Constructors’ Championship. Instead, he was dragged into the fight with Perez after Red Bull’s secondary driver split the prancing horse past Sainz.
“In my own performance, to be honest, I rate it as: [one of] “My top five performances in Formula 1” he added. “I’m glad I really gave it all, but I need to keep trying to fight for victory right away.”
No one expected Leclerc to recreate his winning race in 2019, when Ferrari surpassed Mercedes in front of their beloved fans. But no matter what McLaren does, Ferrari must be able to match it. We hope that next year’s F1 rule changes will make the sport even more competitive. But now it’s McLaren who is really in a position to push two big boys, not Ferrari.