Ricciardo hopes final McLaren races are “more fun” after exit announcement

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo said that he was just happy to be on the Belgian Grand Prix starting grid after what “hasn’t certainly been the most fun weekend.”

In brief

Ricciardo hoping 2022 “gets a bit more fun for the last eight”

Ricciardo said he put the distractions of the recent announcement he would split with McLaren at the end of this season behind him during this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

“It hasn’t certainly hasn’t been the most fun weekend going through all this,” he told media including RaceFans after the race. “But at the same time, it was it was nice to get back in the car and just try to put everything behind me and have a bit of fun.”

Although he finished out of the points, Ricciardo said it was satisfying to return to the cockpit and is hoping for an enjoyable end to the season after his often disappointing year-and-a-half with the team.

“When all the red lights were going on today, I was smiling, and I was just happy to to be in that moment again,” he said. “I don’t think my start was that good, I think I still dropped down and it was a pretty terrible start, but there’s certainly some parts of it I enjoyed.

“But yeah, I’m glad that the bulk of this announcement is done and hopefully gets a bit more fun for the last eight.”

Alfa Romeo believe Bottas was on course for points

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022
Bottas only made it as far as lap two
Alfa Romeo believes Valtteri Bottas would have had the correct strategy to score points at the Belgian Grand Prix had he not been forced to retire after ending up beached in a gravel trap while trying to avoid a collision with Nicholas Latifi.

“Our plan was to use soft, medium, medium, in the position that he was P13 on the grid,” explained head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar. “Then we think that, if you look at the strategy that Max did and also what we did with Zhou, then we think he should have been fighting for the points.

“Where exactly then is always ‘if, if’ over a lot of things but for sure [there was] potential to fight for the points, at least at the head of that group with Albon.”

Drugovich looking for F1 reserve role if he takes F2 title

Felipe Drugovich extended his Formula 2 title lead considerably in Spa, drawing out a 43-point gap over Théo Pourchaire. Although Drugovich is not linked to any F1 team he said he is not concerned whether, like 2019 F2 champion Nyck de Vries, he might fail to win promotion to the top flight next year.

“Somehow I’m going to be able to drive something next year,” he said. “I still don’t know what I’m going to drive next year, but yeah, it might happen like Nyck.

“I think getting into F1 nowadays is very, very difficult and it’s looking that the opportunities for a main seat in F1 next year [are] obviously very limited. But I think there is still that potential reserve seat somewhere.

“So we need to try and look at that and to find maybe a reserve seat somewhere, and other than that, there are other categories that we can drive somewhere else. But for now I’m just focussed on this championship, trying to win this, and then hopefully this result might get me into F1 some some day.”

Formula 2 and 3 drivers given post-race penalties

Enzo Fittipaldi has been given a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage in a lap-long battle with Liam Lawson during the Formula 2 feature race. Although Fittipaldi returned the position to Lawson two laps later – and immediately attacked his rival for the position again, narrowly failing to retake it – the stewards deemed Fittipaldi had held the advantage too long. The penalty drops him from a fifth place finish to tenth.

In Formula 3, David Vidales was given a one-place finishing position drop for also leaving the track and gaining a position over William Alatalo. The two swap places in the finishing order for the Spa feature race, putting Vidales back to eighth.

Kush Maini has also been penalised for an incident during the F3 feature race and will face a five-place grid penalty at the Zandvoort round for causing a collision in the opening laps.

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Comment of the day

After Charles Leclerc took full responsibility for his post-race penalty for pit lane speeding, Keith Campbell says that Ferrari’s decision to bring him in for an attempt to take fastest lap nonetheless deserves its own scrutiny.

The speeding penalty is on him, but the decision to pit was too risky given the circumstances. Even with a normal pitstop they lost track position to Alonso on the penultimate lap, which was likely going to at least cause a disruption to his fastest lap attempt.

There was also the risk of a slow stop due to a sticking wheel nut or whatever else which also would have cost them the same position. Ferrari’s risk/reward calculation seems to always be off.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jelle Van Der Meer, Metrium, F199Player and Stefano!

On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Keke Rosberg scored his first victory in the Swiss Grand Prix, which was held in France on the short Dijon circuit. That meant with two races to go he took the championship lead from Didier Pironi, who was still absent due to his serious injuries from Hockenheim

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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14 comments on “Ricciardo hopes final McLaren races are “more fun” after exit announcement”

  1. He should leave now and let Pastry in to get comfy.

    1. While I am a DR fan, and I wouldn’t want it to happen, McLaren should do just as you suggest. With Piastri.
      It won’t cost them anything and it gets OP some valuable seat time that come the 2023 season, Mclaren will wish desperately they had arranged.
      The kicker may be the current contract they have with DR, but as they say, everything is negotiable.

      1. and don’t forget the 2022 contract with Alpine that OP has….

  2. As a result of the impact, the drivers involved, Colin White and Mike Brown, were taken to hospital for care and are in stable condition.

    It’s lucky that Colonel Mustard wasn’t caught up in this incident as well!

    (No intent to be insensitive of course, and I hope the guys are recovering swiftly.)

    1. That crash was crazy. I’m looking forward to an update. It genuinely looks like Mike Brown has lost control of the car (throttle jammed?, or worse, passed out at the wheel) well before the accident and that Colin White was an innocent bystander who couldn’t avoid being hit. Really weird.

  3. Marshalls during F1 weekends are volunteers? When F1 is posting record profits, talking about Sustainability, We Race as One, Community, Health & Wellbeing etc., people on the frontline are working for free??? How is that even acceptable and not called out by RaceFans and every journalist in the paddock?

    1. If you think it’s really so terrible that these people choose to offer and dedicate their time to their interests for the good of others, then I don’t think you understand what volunteering is actually about, @armchairexpert.
      It’s not at all about how much they get paid.
      If you make it a job (paid work) then you attract people who want money, and not people who do it for the passion.

      Speaking of sustainability, how sustainable would the event be if they had hundreds of additional paid employees for the event, and all the extra costs that having paid staff entails…?
      As for community aspects – volunteering is the most pro-community thing a person can do.

    2. Yes, marshalls at all races are volunteers. It is a commonly accepted reality in motorsports.

      I don’t think there is much change people will challenge that reality anytime soon, although I do agree with you it is a bit awkward (as is any case where volunteers do something for free where someone else makes huge profit in part from their efforts).

  4. Ironically, until this year, drivers in Bottas’ situation would’ve been able to get re-going from that runoff area edge.

    Reserve role in which team?

    The formerly known Trulli train has become an Albon train.

    Someone should inform RB he’s unlikely to become SL-eligible in time for the next season-opener, given how lowly-positioned he’s in the IndyCar standings with their season nearly over.
    Furthermore, no force majeure situation has affected his chances of reaching 40 SL pts, which automatically means no exemption from this standard minimum requirement.
    No different from last year when the Andretti-Sauber buyout attempt was on.
    Exempting without unjustifiably would cause double-standard treatment unless FIA were willing to grant other drivers similar exemptions based on trivial things. Otherwise, they’d be liable for breaking their own rules & or protocols.

    I couldn’t agree more with COTD.
    Far more to lose than gain by a late extra pit stop, given his gap to Alonso & that getting the FLAP point wasn’t even guaranteed with RBR’s superior pace, so in hindsight, staying out & losing 16 pts relative to Max would’ve been better than two more in the end.

    1. I forgot to remove ‘without’ when I intended to alter my wording from ‘without a justifiable reason’ to unjustifiably.

    2. While I agree about the sillyness of the FL try, I’ve always been an advocate of realistic stuff, realistic possibilities, and since the championship race is over since several races now and leclerc was having a pretty boring race, I don’t mind them trying a FL just for fun, losing points or not doesn’t matter anyway in a non-title race, but even that was done badly since he got alonso in front.

  5. Still annoys me that there is no victory lap at Spa. I know it’s a minor thing, but even the broadcast gave up on the race after P4 had finished, by removing the position graphics. Was at least wanting to see it Leclerc got fastest lap or not, but graphics gone before he crossed the line. No idea if anyone was close to challenging Albon for the last point.

    1. Was thinking the same thing – the podium-getters crossed the finish line, and then nothing mattered anymore.
      Had to wait a while to find out the finishing order of the ones further back who actually made the event slightly (really slightly) interesting and (almost) worth watching.

      Lift your game, F1. Not everyone cares only about the finishing order of the big teams.

      1. Yeah, we did not even get to see the Leclerc attempt at fastest lap, instead we got guys parking up their cars @eurobrun, I agree that it would be preferrable by far if they had shown us the rest of the action that went on for another few minutes.

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