Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Monza, 2021

McLaren ‘need things to swing in our favour’ for Italian GP win – Ricciardo

2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says McLaren need to have luck on their side in order to win the Italian Grand Prix after the team took second and third place on the grid.

The team gambled on soft tyres at the start of the sprint qualifying race which helped Ricciardo and team mate Lando Norris gain a place each from Lewis Hamilton at the start. Ricciardo finished third and will start tomorrow’s race second, alongside pole-winner Max Verstappen, following Valtteri Bottas’ grid penalty.

Ricciardo said he’ll “dream a little bit” about the possibility of winning the race tonight, “but I’m ready to make that a reality for sure.”

He has endured a difficult season since moving from Renault to McLaren and is yet to finish on the podium. Ricciardo is looking for his first win since 2018, while McLaren’s victory drought stretches back to 2012.

“For McLaren it’s been a long time, for me it’s been a long time,” Ricciardo acknowledged. “So it’s definitely refreshing to be back up here.

“We’re close and I know a few things might have to swing in our favour tomorrow, but we’ve certainly put ourself in the fight, in the hunt. So I’m very excited to get going with that and try to make some good stuff happen.”

Monza has been a strong circuit for McLaren in recent seasons. “Obviously they were second here last year so we’re there or thereabouts,” said Ricciardo. “I’m hungry. I think anyone that saw me after qualifying yesterday, I think they’re not surprised about this outcome today.”

Ricciardo said his strong getaway from fifth on the grid was key to his third-placed finish. “It was a good start,” he said. “I knew I had a good launch. As soon as you drop the clutch, you kind of know.”

“I had a good tow and I had also a clear line braking for turn one. So I was able to go quite deep and I thought maybe I could get Max for a second.

“But then he had the inside for one and I think if I stayed there and tried to keep the inside for two, I don’t think there was enough room for two cars.”

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2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “McLaren ‘need things to swing in our favour’ for Italian GP win – Ricciardo”

  1. Seeing Ricciardo go from zero to hero would totally make my weekend!

    1. Agreed, it would be nice to see ricci on the podium.

      1. Yup love to see him back!

  2. I wouldn’t mind if Dan finished P3 in the actual race.

  3. And by things swinging in their favour he means Max engine blowing up. That’s how far off the McLarens were in terms of pace today.

  4. The big gap to the top two suggests they don’t have the pace. But I can’t imagine Verstappen challenging either of the Mclarens too hard if they attack at the start tomorrow.

  5. If Verstappen holds the lead into turn 1 I don’t think the McLaren’s will trouble him at all, but realistically I think Ricciardo’s got to worry more about Norris and Hamilton than Verstappen.

  6. The best chance of winning for the McLarens is to let Lewis by at the start of the race.

  7. They are looking great for a podium.. Perez and Bottas are far behind, maybe even a win if front runners colide.

    Engine failures are always an option, surprise McLaren win might not be that surprising.

    I wonder if Daniel can hold behind Max, if he manages an overtake in to turn 1.

    Max was close to Bottas unable to close and overtake, but McLaren is no Mercedes.

    1. Yes, a win is very likely for mclarens if both hamilton and verstappen drop out, if not I guess it’s a podium.

  8. “[…], while McLaren’s victory drought stretches back to 2012.”

    As far back as Williams win drought in fact…

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