Daniel Ricciardo stuns Formula 1 fans with 'sensational' act

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Daniel Ricciardo smiles as he speaks with the press.
Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo turned in a stellar performance for McLaren at the Austrian GP, recovering to 7th after qualifying a disastrous 13th. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo has turned in a stunning drive to recover from a second straight qualifying disaster which saw him start outside the top 10 at the Austrian GP.

Sunday's race was the second of a double-header at Austria's Red Bull Ring, after Ricciardo finished a lap down and a lowly 13th in last week's Styrian GP.

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It was looking like the Australian star would have his work cut out for him once again after another difficult qualifying run, once again 13th on the grid while teammate Lando Norris outshone him to start second behind pole-sitter Max Verstappen.

Qualifying has never been Ricciardo's calling card though - he's made his money as a race day performer known for his aggressive overtaking.

And it was this version of Ricciardo fans were treated to, as the 31-year-old knifed his way through the pack to ninth on the road after the first lap.

He worked his way up to fifth before the first round of pitstops, putting moves on the likes of Ferri's Carlos's Sainz, Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel along the way.

He fell back through the pack slightly after the first round of pitstops, before becoming involved in a tense fight for P5 with Sainz and Perez.

Unfortunately for the West Australian, his McLaren's pace flagged slightly compared to the Ferrari and Red Bull, and he ultimately finished 7th.

Verstappen won the race ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Norris.

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Despite the last lap loss, McLaren boss Andreas Seidl was thrilled with Ricciardo's performance after a poor qualifying.

“Sensational recovery today from Daniel,” he said after the race.

“Very happy that Daniel could pull off this race today. Very controlled race from his side with a lot of pressure from behind but he was managing his tyres, he was managing the gaps.

“Yeah really happy. And hopefully that now give him additional energy in the next two weeks in order to make the next step in Silverstone.”

Max Verstappen triumphs for Red Bull at Austrian GP

Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen has claimed a hat-trick of wins with victory at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver's fifth win of the season extended his lead over title rival - seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton - to 32 points after nine races.

Hamilton dropped from second to fourth late in the race after going too wide on turn 10 at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring circuit and rolling over a kerb, damaging one of his tyres.

His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finished second ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris, who clinched the fourth podium of his career on the same track where he secured his first last year.

The ultra-consistent Norris is the only driver to have scored points in every race this season.

Max Verstappen tightened his grip in the Formula 1 championship with his third successive race win at the Austrian GP overnight. (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen tightened his grip in the Formula 1 championship with his third successive race win at the Austrian GP overnight. (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Hamilton has not won since the Spanish Grand Prix two months ago, a dismal streak of five races for the defending champion.

All of those victories have gone to Red Bull, with Sergio Perez taking the other.

But it was another crushing success for Verstappen at the Red Bull Ring - his team's home track - with an army of his orange-shirted fans cheering on his 15th career win in the 60-000-strong crowd.

He also won here last weekend at the Styrian GP.

"It is incredible for everyone to have delivered this," said Verstappen.

"Today has been amazing. It was insane to see all the fans and so much orange. It is great motivation for me, too."

Verstappen clinched his third straight pole on Saturday and got away cleanly again for another lights-to-flag win, the way Hamilton has so often done.

Hamilton's wait for a 99th F1 win continues and he will hope for a change of fortune at the British GP in Silverstone in two weeks' time.

Perez finished fifth on Sunday ahead of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz.

But Perez was hit with two five-second penalties for forcing Charles Leclerc off the track twice and was demoted to sixth, promoting Sainz one spot.

With AAP

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