Daniel Ricciardo has explained the reasons for his foul-mouthed outburst after a frustrating display in the São Paulo Grand Prix Sprint. The AlphaTauri driver failed to finish in the points after an ongoing tussle with Carlos Sainz during an F1 sprint race taken out by three-time world champion, Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver maintained his dominant form in 2023 by winning the sprint race from Lando Norris, having seizing the lead from the McLaren drive at the first corner. Norris, who had lined up on pole position with Verstappen alongside, was second and 4.287 seconds behind with Red Bull's Sergio Perez starting and finishing third after dropping to fifth on the opening lap.
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Ricciardo - who will start Monday morning's (AEDT) race from 17th spot after a disastrous qualifying - was clearly annoyed after finishing ninth in the sprint, just outside the top eight. Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda did manage to grab a share of the points in sixth, but Ricciardo was left to rue the role DRS played in his running battle with Ferrari's Sainz.
The Aussie passed the Spaniard on more than one occasion only to be reeled in on the approach to Turn 4 as the Ferrari picked up DRS in return. Ricciardo could be heard cursing the situation in an expletive-laden spray on team radio as the 34-year-old moaned about the positioning of the DRS detection line on the exit of Turn 2.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 4, 2023
Daniel Ricciardo frustrated by DRS
"F**k, F**k, F**k, F**k. Sorry guys," he was heard shouting on team radio. "Just that f***ing DRS in Turn 2. You pass in [Turn] 1 and then you just get f***ed. It is impossible. Anyway, I'll shut up."
Ricciardo had cooled off somewhat when he spoke to Sky Sports after the sprint about the running battle with Sainz that allowed fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri to pass him in the McLaren at one point. Ricciardo eventually had the last laugh after overtaking his compatriot but was clearly not happy about missing out on the top eight.
“Fun but also frustrating... everyone was struggling I think or most people just in terms of the tyres here, the asphalt. It’s bad,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1. “Everyone is fighting the car but we seemed to fight a little bit less than, as you mentioned, like Carlos in front of us.
“So I completed a move on him, at least twice — maybe more than twice, I can’t remember. But the DRS line, the second detection is in Turn 2, so every time I passed him it basically waved him back past before Turn 4 so that was extremely frustrating. But I didn’t feel I could do much more because obviously you’re trying to pass someone so you go for it but I never got rewarded.
“We were fighting, getting in a battle there for quite a few laps and then that allowed Oscar and quite a few others behind us to start closing in and then I left the door open in eighth, so that’s my fault. I let Oscar by.
“We lost a few laps behind him, got him back, caught Carlos again... it’s OK. There’s pros and cons. There’s still things I want to be able to do better but all in all not the worst day.”
Max Verstappen on top after another sprint win
Saturday's sixth and final sprint of the season came on a hot and dry in São Paulo, in stark contrast to the wild and stormy conditions that saw the third qualifying session red-flagged the previous day. Once again Verstappen reigned supreme, scoring his fourth sprint win after he and Red Bull already wrapped up both championships.
The Dutch 26-year-old will be chasing a record-extending 17th grand prix win of the season from pole position on Sunday to take his career haul to 52, one short of retired four-time champion Sebastian Vettel. Second-placed Norris said he lacked the pace to mix it with Verstappen at the end due to tyre degradation.
"Max had that little bit extra always in the bag, the Red Bull's race pace and Max's race pace is just a little bit too strong for us," Norris said. "I tried and for a few moments thought 'I could be close here' but then just didn't quite have enough."
George Russell, last year's sprint winner in Brazil, finished fourth for Mercedes with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc fifth and Tsunoda sixth for AlphaTauri's first sprint points of the season. Mercedes's seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was seventh, falling back in his chase of Perez for runner-up in the championship, and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz took the final point in the standalone 24-lap 100km race at the Interlagos circuit.
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