Daniel Ricciardo's 'ridiculous' drive after first-lap disaster at Hungarian GP

The Aussie driver hasn't lost his touch despite being out of action for eight months.

Daniel Ricciardo in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo was forced off the track on the opening lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Image: Getty/F1

Daniel Ricciardo has left the F1 world speechless with a brilliant drive in his first Grand Prix race with AlphaTauri. The Aussie driver was back on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday for the first time since being dumped by McLaren last year.

Ricciardo finished in 13th place, but it was a remarkable result considering he outperformed teammate Yuki Tsunoda (15th) and had to battle back after falling to 18th on the opening corner. The Aussie was forced off track after he was hit from behind by Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu.

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However he managed to make up five places in a sensational drive that showed he hasn't lost any of his abilities. Ricciardo managed to make medium tyres last a whopping 40 laps.

In his first race for eight months, the 34-year-old admitted he was concerned about surviving the heat and sheer physicality of the Hungaroring circuit. "But I feel like I still have a bit of energy," he said afterwards.

"I was certainly I don’t want to say worried, a word less than worried. This is always one of the most physical races, let alone having not done this for eight months. I thought after 30 laps I would be singing for a breath of fresh air, but I actually felt great.

"The race pace was good. It was unlucky for me at the start to drop to the back.

"When we’re a team who need to have everything to go well to get points, I knew it was impossible to get back into the top 10. But I'm glad I could continue the race and learn from the car. In the end, I’m happy with the race I did."

F1 fans and commentators were in awe of Ricciardo's 'ridiculous' drive after so long out. He also outperformed Tsunoda in qualifying and gave AlphaTauri their best starting grid position in four races.

Max Verstappen wins Hungarian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen needed only a few seconds to stamp his authority on the race before winning for the seventh-straight time. Lewis Hamilton started from pole position ahead of Verstappen, but was muscled out at the first corner as Verstappen never looked back.

Australia's Oscar Piastri finished fifth, while McLaren teammate Lando Norris finished second for the second-straight race. Red Bull's Sergio Perez was third for a much-needed second podium in six races.

Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen won the Hungarian Grand Prix from Lando Norris and Sergio Perez. (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

Red Bull's 12th straight win, including the final race of 2022, broke McLaren's record for consecutive team wins set in 1988. "People forget how hard it is to win 12 in a row, even when you have the fastest car," Verstappen said. "Hopefully we can keep this momentum going for a long time."

Verstappen's career win total now stands at 44 - the same number as Hamilton. "Hopefully I don't stay on 44, that would be terrible," Verstappen joked. "Hopefully I can get to 45 quickly."

Hamilton said afterwards: “I haven’t been at my best for over a year. I think yesterday felt like I was me being back to my best.

“Max got a better start than me. I just got a bit of wheelspin and was a bit compromised after that. I think we may have been able to finish third with a slightly better start, but fourth is still OK.”

with agencies

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