Daniel Ricciardo will start from the highest spot on the grid he has all season at the Italian GP, but photographers beware - don't get in his way.
The McLaren driver, who won at Monza in a stunning Italian GP in 2021, was left cursing over the team radio during free practice after nearly colliding with a photographer as he pulled into his pitbox.
Onboard footage from Ricciardo showed a snapper hastily trying to get out of the way as the Australian star pulled in, prompting a swift rebuke over the radio.
“These f***ing idiots, man,” he said.
“I’m happy to hit one of them."
a view of the photographers from behind being held back.
Daniel is still mad at the one photographer, saying he “still can’t get deep enough in the box with him there”. pic.twitter.com/IbT9mifKMc
— meredith (@mereeedithh) September 9, 2022
Footage showing the rear of Ricciardo's McLaren showed a pack of cameramen and photographers camped at the McLaren garage as he arrives.
Ricciardo went on to complain that he couldn't line the car up properly because there were too many people nearby in the pitlane.
While his frustrations with F1 photographers briefly got the better of him, Ricciardo will line up fourth on the grid after one of his better qualifying sessions of the season.
The outgoing McLaren driver was seventh fastest in qualifying before grid penalties were applied to Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen elevated him to fourth.
He'll start one place behind teammate Lando Norris, with McLaren in great position to snare more points at the venue where they scored their memorable one-two victory last year.
Ricciardo's victory at the 2021 Italian GP was McLaren's first since 2012, and first one-two finish since 2010.
However the return to form many hopes last year's victory could spark hasn't come to fruition, with Ricciardo once again well behind Norris in the championship standings.
His continued struggles ultimately led McLaren to negotiate an early termination of their contract, making Ricciardo a free agent for the F1 grid in 2023.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc takes pole position for Italian Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc has taken pole position for the Italian GP to send Ferrari hopes soaring, while George Russell joined him on the front row for Mercedes.
Leclerc is likely to be the only driver starting where he qualified, with nine of the 20-man grid incurring penalties mainly due to power unit changes exceeding their season's allocation.
"It is a very good surprise today, considering where we come from," said Leclerc, alluding to the Italian team's struggles in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps last month, as the army of Ferrari fans celebrated a home success on Saturday.
"We were not expecting to fight for pole here ... There's a special motivation for this weekend and it's great that we managed to do a good job today."
The pole was the Monegasque's eighth of the season and first since France in July, and it came with Ferrari president John Elkann in attendance.
The last time Leclerc, and Ferrari, started on pole at Monza was in 2019 - and he won that weekend.
Red Bull's runaway championship leader Max Verstappen, 109 points clear of Leclerc with seven races remaining and chasing his fifth win in a row, was second fastest in qualifying but will drop back for Sunday's start due to a five-place penalty.
There was confusion about where he might start, however, with the Dutch driver convinced he would drop to seventh but others calculating it could ultimately be as high as fourth.
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Russell's seven-time world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton qualified third, fourth and fifth respectively but all have significant penalties.
Russell was only sixth on the qualifying timesheets.
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