Ricciardo hopes “completely different” Hungaroring will show he’s back on form

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says the Hungaroring will be a better measure of the progress he’s made at McLaren than Silverstone was.

In brief

Budapest a litmus test of Ricciardo’s progress

After scoring his best finish as a McLaren driver so far at the high-speed Silverstone track, Ricciardo said his performance at a very different circuit will be a key measure of the progress he’s made at the team.

“Budapest is a completely different circuit,” Ricciardo explained. “We have higher downforce, more braking, a bit more twisty and technical.

“So if I can put it together there, then I’ll probably answer that question more confidently and let the world know that I’m back!”

Hughes returns to F3, replacing injured Frederick

Long-time F3 driver Jake Hughes will race for Carlin at the junior series’ Hungarian round in place of Kaylen Frederick. Hughes previously won three races for HWA, who he raced for in 2019 and 2020.

Frederick suffered a hand injury and had to undergo surgery following a crash during race two at the Red Bull Ring.

Mazepin: Williams had improved downforce package for Silverstone

Nikita Mazepin said Haas’ pace deficit to Williams at Silverstone was partly due to the progress their rival made with their aerodynamic package.

“It was a very difficult race,” said Mazepin, “the most difficult race so far this year for us in terms of the competitiveness of the car.

“We knew before the race we wouldn’t be able to follow the Williams for a long time. I think Williams brought something for the weekend or potentially had more downforce than us. There’s certain tracks that highlight our weaknesses less, certain that highlight more.”

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Comment of the day

In response to the rising costs of a junior career, SWH1386 says that the virtual world has stepped in for a cost-effective alternative route into motorsport.

For me, sim racing is the future of grass roots motorsport. We’ve already seen E-sports champions win real world racing drives, and with sim set-ups becoming more and more realistic, a young racer can really hone his/her skills at home, practicing with simulated cars and skipping karts altogether.

Most importantly, sim set-ups are much cheaper too, greatly reducing the barrier to entry. A good quality PlayStation or Xbox with wheel set-up can be bought for less then £500, which, not quite as cheap as a ’round leather object’, is far less than a junior racing career.

So to really open up the entry pool and make motorsports accessible to people from all backgrounds, E-sports seems to me to be the best way
@swh1386

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On this day in motorsport

Ralf Schumacher enjoyed a home win on this day in 2001
  • 20 years ago today Ralf Schumacher won the German Grand Prix after team mate Juan Pablo Montoya retired with engine failure. The first start was red-flagged after a huge crash involving Michael Schumacher and Luciano Burti

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 11 comments on “Ricciardo hopes “completely different” Hungaroring will show he’s back on form”

    1. Ricciardo hopes “completely different” Hungaroring will show he’s back on form

      As do I, he has a terrific team mate. He’s in a very good team with a car that can consistently get him up near the front. It’s down to him and I think he’ll do it.

      1. It’s about time. Lots of sharks in the water for that seat.

        1. erikje yes true that.

    2. So if I can put it together there, then I’ll probably answer that question more confidently and let the world know that I’m back!

      It’s really puzzling to try to figure out why Daniel is the only driver saying that up to the 10th going to the 11th round of the season. Very complex is the reason why he has taken so much more time than the others adapting to new cars. McLaren must require a driving style a lot different than the cars he drove before. It all makes me wonder what would be happening now if he hadn’t left Red Bull. He certainly wouldn’t be struggling like that to fit in the car, currently he looks like a morning person trying to work until late on the night, but of course he would still have problems of another sort, no doubt. I’m not implying that he should have stayed, because the big teams unfortunately are scared of the tension that two drivers in top form fighting each other hard brings, as Max and Daniel were back then (and as much as Max fans liked to repeatedly downplay Ricciardo’s speed, the truth was that the pendulum swung back and forth between them most often than not – notably when Verstappen was way less reliable than he is today – Daniel managed to score more points than him in two seasons, going for big points quite regularly despite not being as fast, etc.).
      Given that the big teams need so desperately to find a stablished number 1 driver, even though in my opinion they lose more than gain in the long run with that overly cautious choice (I seriously doubt that even the intoxicated and self-imploding McLaren team of 2007 would have scored as many points had they lined up Kovalainen in place of Alonso, as demonstrated in 2008 ‒ letting aside the fact that all the points for the team were voided in the end of 2007 season anyway), and as such despite having performed strongly Daniel was founding himself in a tricky position at Red Bull. Looking with the benefit of hindsight it might not feel as the right decision but it’s easy to forget that Red Bull spent many years during the hybrid-era as just a promise of a title contender. This and the fact that Daniel wanted to shine outside his teammate’s halo should make up an explanation reasonable enough for his choice at the time.
      As the way it is, if he can turn it around at McLaren and finally take the fight with Norris that would be a remarkable achievement considering the difficulty he has been having up to now, and the brighter side is his team seems truly wishful of his success, then it would be a lovely story if his “marriage” with McLaren continues and gets stronger after a really strange beginning. He still can go to another team and enjoy better times, of course, but they have held so much expectations with this relationship, with him even taking the role of leader in arguably the strongest line up on paper of the entire grid, all of those once promising signs would lead to a big amount of frustration if it doesn’t work in the end. Gladly still there’s time for a reaction, and things in top-tier sports can change quickly, faster than sometimes people are willing to admit. Let’s see what the future holds for them.

      Reply moderated
      1. He keeps saying how he’s not ready to trust the braking fully.

      2. If Dan had stayed at Red Bull, he would have been continually sacrificed in races to boost Max’s chances. Red bull don’t support two number one drivers.

        Dan had to leave red bull to have achance of reaching his full potential.

        1. Mr Squiggle
          If it’d be this way how could Dan finish ahead of Max in the WDC on both 2016 and 2017 seasons? Only in 2018 Max managed to outscore him after he cut off silly errors and had better reliability to raise his game against Daniel. That doesn’t fit quite well your narrative. Of course all big teams do prefer to have clear roles of leading driver and rear-gunner, but Daniel was contesting it with Max back then. The only ones who actively sought to forget that are some too confident Max fans who thought their idol was leagues ahead (specially that time he just wasn’t so consistent) and now Mercs/LH fans who want to create a fairy tail around the ‘cursed’ Red Bull’s second seat, as if Bottas was actually a massive force and had been allowed to freely race Lewis whenever he wants – so they just try to hide the elephant in the room. Being “continually sacrificed in races” is the exact description of what often happens to poor Valtteri since just a few months after he joined Mercedes, and no doubt the same happens to Checo now as well, no secret that they’re there mostly to serve until the next order.
          What’s so much different about Red Bull? We can argue that Gasly underperformed there in comparision to Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri, but I’m not sure about Albon, as it’s not rare at all for a decent but not spectacular midfield racer to struggle badly when pushed into a top-tier car, which is expected to be up front the grid quite frequently, something way harder to do than outscore a mediocre or past-the-prime teammate for a midfield team. Remember that Bottas was pretty much one of the nice midfielders like Perez before being promoted to Mercs when he was driving for Williams, regularly beating a fading driver like Massa. Against Lewis, however, he lasts only a maximum of four races into the challenge. As for Perez, obviously he’s not one of the greats but his career is more similar to Bottas’ than some want to admit. As much as biased Hammy fans have built their own echo chamber in which Perez is way below Bottas, or that he’s been jeopardised by Red Bull (and they sometimes hold the two contradictory claims at once, incredible!), those assumptions don’t survive to a simple scrutiny. If the second drivers for both top teams are still closely matched in the WDC, why only one of the teams is sacrificing their WCC support?
          Finally it all revolves around Red Bull being way ahead Mercedes, completely dominant level some suggest, but that also hasn’t had a big number of strong evidences to confirm it. Lewis fans apparently never performed the simple task of enumerating the races in which RB had an edge on the Mercs, how much of an advantage, and how this advantage was established in first place, round by round. Then it’s easy to let cognitive dissonance do its work and pretend that Max/Red Bull has been having an easy ride since the beginning of the season, when in reality Mercedes had it way closer to the absolute dominance as recent as last year. It’s just mind boggling how they try to distort reality and data that can be objectively verified and logically interpreted. But from a fanboy’s point of view, it all is just too difficult or not convenient.

          Reply moderated
    3. On this day in Motorsport picture reminds us how lucky we are with todays drivers. Crashing into each other or not, today is a whole other level than the guys back then. What a poor period that was with the active suspension and Villeneuve the clown.

      1. Apologies, not the active susp period, that was another streak of low. Much better off today, especially now Mercedes finally gets some competition (or at least from one car from one team)

    4. With regards to the COTD, while sim racing is great, I don’t think it can replace carts. The FIA has to step in. Let’s make F1 subsidize the carts. There’s lots of money going around in F1, I’m sure the FIA can find a few million. Take that and make a top level cart series were participants only pay a few grand, and the FIA supplies the carts and tyres and everything else. You pay, rent the cart, use it and then the talented ones stand out. Use this model for carts first, if it works try it with F4. We can even have F1 teams chip in. Give £2m and you get and extra 2 added to your budget cap.

    5. Re Ricciardo: He and Lando have my strong support.
      Re Hughes: He’s still around just like Merhi post-F1, isn’t he? And bring Pierre-Louis Chovet back.
      Re Mazepin: “Russia” were in ninth for a while because of the effects of the very dangerous incidents at Azerbaijan, and still were during the beginning of the Euros, until Great Britain got it back at the gravel-turned-stripe venue.
      Re F1 2021 game: Next month Imola and Algarve? Or September? And then Melbourne/Yas Marina updates December or January?
      On this day too: Jacques Villeneuve’s last podium.

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