Teammate's confession rubs salt into wounds for Daniel Ricciardo

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·Sports Reporter
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Lando Norris was suffering from tonsilitis during the Spanish GP, but still outperformed Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo's F1 teammate Lando Norris revealed he was battling tonsilitis during the Spanish GP, twisting the knife on the Aussie's poor performance. Pictures: Getty Images

The fallout from Daniel Ricciardo's miserable Spanish GP performance is only going to get worse after his McLaren teammate admitted he was far from 100 per cent healthy for the race.

Ricciardo endured a torrid F1 outing on Sunday, starting ninth but able to do little bit drift backwards through the field to ultimately finish 12th, in a race that provided few highlights for the Aussie driver.

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In contrast, his teammate Lando Norris started outside the top 10, but was able to eventually improve to 7th - further bolstering his points lead over Ricciardo.

Making matters worse for Ricciardo, Norris revealed after the race that he'd been battling a nasty case of tonsilitis for the duration of the race weekend.

Norris reported 'suffering with my throat and my eyes and seeing' during the race, making his push through the field into the top 10 all the more impressive.

Combine that with temeratures on race day that soared into the 30s, and Norris was well and truly up against it in Barcelona.

“I was feeling really unwell before the race as I’m suffering with tonsillitis, and that, in combination with the high temperatures, made this one of the hardest races I’ve ever done," Norris said afterwards.

“I’ve been a bit on the backfoot this weekend as most of my energy has been spent fighting off this illness.

"I’ve had to miss a lot of engineering sessions, which has compromised my weekend, and I definitely wasn’t as prepared for the Grand Prix as I could have been.

"With that in mind, I’m really pleased to have come out of the race with decent points for the team.”

McLaren ultimately didn't have the pace to challenge any of the top contenders in Spain.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen overcame an early error and some technical difficulties to win ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.

George Russell was third for a much-improved Mercedes outfit, who benefited from upgrades fitted to their cars for the Spanish GP.

Daniel Ricciardo all at sea in miserable Spanish Grand Prix

While Norris has regularly been able to haul the tricky McLaren into a points finish, Ricciardo has finished in the top 10 just once this season, in Australia.

While McLaren haven't had to deal with the porpoising issue with their aerodynamics that many other teams have, Ricciardo has nonetheless struggled to extract the same amount of pace from. the car Norris has.

After the race, Ricciardo appeared at a loss as to how he was losing so much pace in comparison to his young teammate.

“It’s one of those races that it was so slow that you kind of, nearly sounds bad to say, but you hope that something was wrong,” Ricciardo said.

“You hope that we find something that is like, ‘Oh, that’s why’, because probably more concerning if we don’t.

“It wasn’t like a tenth or two tenths (of a second) off. It felt like over a second at times.

“I don’t know that for a fact but I certainly saw the cars pass me and pull away very quickly.”

Lando Norris out-raced Daniel Ricciardo at the Spanish GP, despite suffering a nasty case of tonsilitis. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Lando Norris out-raced Daniel Ricciardo at the Spanish GP, despite suffering a nasty case of tonsilitis. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Languising in equal 12th in the driver standings alongside Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda, Ricciardo is facing a race against time to get to grips with the McLaren.

Already behind the eight-ball after being outperformed by Norris in 2021, pressure is mounting in Ricciardo as the F1 circus swimgs to Monaco next weekend.

Though the Monaco GP has been a happy hunting ground for Ricciardo in seasons past, the tight and technical circuit is likely to pose a substantial challenge.

Ricciardo's contract is up at the end of the 2023 season, with McLaren sparking rumours of his potential replacement by signing IndyCar star Colton Herta to a development contract.

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