Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023

Transcript: How Ricciardo’s race went awry soon after he was told to “bring it home”

Formula 1

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Just 29 laps into the 71-lap Mexican Grand Prix it seemed Daniel Ricciardo had put himself in position to deliver a fine fifth place for AlphaTauri.

His sole pit stop was out of the way and his race engineer Pierre Hamelin knew that barring the unforeseen his driver faced a straightforward run to the chequered flag. He came over radio and told his driver:

“Bring it home.”

Unfortunately for Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen’s crash was about to lead to the race being red-flagged, and his prospects of holding onto a top five finish were badly compromised.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Mexican GP radio messages

Over the early laps, Ricciardo and Hamelin had mostly been happy with the job they were doing, running in the same fourth position he had started in, instead focusing on what strategy their rivals may have been on.

Lap: 4/71 RIC: 1’23.916
HamelinOkay. Offset two is in a good place, offset two is good. We are happy with tyre numbers currently, happy with tyres.
RicciardoYep. Think Ferrari’s managing at the minute.
HamelinLeclerc ahead of Sainz has front wing damage. He lost some pieces in turn one.
Lap: 5/71 RIC: 1’44.973
HamelinOkay. We have possible debris turn one, make sure you follow the car ahead of you. Possible small debris turn one from Leclerc front wing.
HamelinVirtual Safety Car. Virtual Safety Car. Watch for debris turn one. Follow the car ahead, there’s big debris there. Charge on. Stay close to zero on the dash. Okay Daniel, balance and tyre numbers are good, we stay in the rhythm. And we’ve got Hulkenberg ahead of the midfield pack, so we keep an eye on them. There are currently eight behind you.
HamelinMode five in the background. Mode five.
HamelinOkay. Keep staying close to zero. So Hamilton’s five tenths behind, then it’s a three gap to Piastri.
RicciardoOkay. Was our pace, quicker than the cars behind?
HamelinConfirmed, it was four tenths compared to the pack leaded by Hulkenberg.
HamelinVSC ending. Charge off, get ready. Green, green, green.
Lap: 6/71 RIC: 1’23.426
HamelinDRS enabled.
HamelinSainz 1.1 ahead. Missing a tenth for the DRS.
Lap: 7/71 RIC: 1’23.817
HamelinBack to Mode six.
Lap: 8/71 RIC: 1’24.030
HamelinWe are just missing half a tenth to get the DRS off Sainz, sector three.
HamelinWe can see front graining on Sainz’s car, our car looks good.
Lap: 9/71 RIC: 1’23.938
HamelinOn Hulkenberg currently, five tenths slower. Pace is good.
HamelinCurrently in strat two, we need strat one, strat one.
Lap: 10/71 RIC: 1’24.133
HamelinOkay, Hulkenberg 8.3 behind, pace is good, numbers are good. Update on balance and tyres please.
RicciardoYeah, just a little bit more rear management.
HamelinConsider mid six, one step up, between turn one to three.

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There was also a lot of focus on McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who was the car immediately behind Ricciardo in sixth from lap 11 onwards after he was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton, and noting where their rival’s car seemed to be stronger in the lap than their own. Should Piastri have made it onto the tail of Ricciardo and attempted to pass him, in the first stint or after that, it was useful information on where they would need to defend.

Lap: 12/71 RIC: 1’24.129
HamelinOkay. Keep doing a good job, we are doing the numbers.
HamelinPiastri’s last lap was 24.5. We get back in the rhythm.
Lap: 13/71 RIC: 1’24.347
HamelinAnd we are still on Plan A with the numbers. Piastri 1.8 behind, only loss to Piastri turn six, minimum speed.
Lap: 14/71 RIC: 1’24.028
HamelinPiastri 1.6, he gained a tenth last lap.
Lap: 15/71 RIC: 1’24.116
Hamelin‘We are still on plan A. Piastri has to do big lift-off he has a PU cooling issue. The Hulkenberg group is 11 behind now.
RicciardoThat last lap was probably as good as I can do at the moment.
RicciardoI’ll keep you posted.
Lap: 16/71 RIC: 1’24.248
HamelinOkay, So currently still matching Piastri’s pace, we have to keep looking after these rear tyres. We see a little bit more deg now. Keep looking after the rear. But this pace is good.
Lap: 17/71 RIC: 1’24.311
HamelinOkay. Piastri 2.2 behind, and the worst place at the moment for rear is turn three exit.

Behind Piastri was Mercedes’ George Russell and then a gaggle of cars led by Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg. AlphaTauri had such strong pace that they were hoping they could avoid needing to navigate through that group once Ricciardo pitted.

HamelinIf we can manage a little bit more exit turn three.
Lap: 18/71 RIC: 1’24.559
HamelinOkay. Gaps are stable. Eight tenths faster than the Hulkenberg group. Update on tyres.
RicciardoYep. I think I can stay low to mid 24s for a bit.
RicciardoYeah, pretty consistent. No big signs yet.
RicciardoDo you think the cars in front are managing?
Lap: 19/71 RIC: 1’24.590
HamelinConfirmed, confirmed. Cars ahead are doing the same, and they have the same deg as us. We are aligned. We need around 5 to 6 laps to be clear of the midfield group for pitting. 5 to 6 laps, I’ll keep you posted. Everything looking good.

The more it looked like Ricciardo could undercut the Hulkenberg-led group without losing positions to them, the more attention turned to what the cars ahead were doing and if he would be able to catch them.

Lap: 20/71 RIC: 1’24.321
HamelinOkay. Sainz said he’s doing 24.6. Your lap time: 24.6. The same.
Lap: 21/71 RIC: 1’24.236
RicciardoHow are the cars on soft and hard doing?.
HamelinThe hard is looking okay. I’ll get more info, I’ll come back to you. Piastri 2.5 behind.

That plan changed slightly when race leader Max Verstappen pitted and emerged from his stop between Russell and Hulkenberg, with his fresher tyres meaning he was soon closing in on Ricciardo.

Although Ricciardo had successfully kept a gap between himself and Piastri until the latter pitted, once that happened he was then asked if he could up his pace to negate the grip advantage Piastri was now going to have on his new tyres to ensure he was not undercut.

Lap: 22/71 RIC: 1’24.500
HamelinOkay Daniel, we see slightly more deg on the hards. We’re still on plan A, and we try to keep going. The deg is looking good for us. Very good job.
HamelinBack to strat two when you can.
RicciardoYep. I agree with the plan.
Lap: 23/71 RIC: 1’24.319
HamelinOkay Daniel, heads up, we have Max three seconds behind you. He is directly behind Piastri, he is on new hards. We will try to lose minimum time with Max when he comes, please confirm.
HamelinAnd we lost a couple of tenths to Piastri last lap.
Lap: 24/71 RIC: 1’24.593
HamelinMax 1.2 behind, Piastri 3 behind. And still currently 5 to 6 tenths faster than Hulkenberg.
HamelinOkay Max will have DRS this lap. We try not to waste any time. We know our targets.
HamelinOkay Daniel, Hulkenberg has pitted, now we are keeping an eye on Piastri to have a free pit stop. Gasly is 19 behind, I’ll keep you posted on his pace. Okay Piastri has pitted. I’ll keep you posted.
HamelinOkay, Piastri is going to hit traffic. We stay on plan. You’re doing a good job.
RicciardoYep, understood. Everything stable.
Lap: 27/71 RIC: 1’27.032
HamelinOkay, if you have a couple of tenths we’d like to take them now for another three or four laps. If you have a little bit of pace, let’s take it now please. Consider back to offset two, we have margin on the rear.
HamelinOkay, Push harder. Push harder. Push hard now.
HamelinKeep the pace up. Close to Albon, pit exit.
HamelinBox, box, close to Albon, pit exit.
Lap: 28/71 RIC: 1’42.520
HamelinPush toggle off, offset two.

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Ricciardo’s end-of-stint pace got the job done, as he emerged from the pits ahead of Piastri back in fifth place following his own stop on lap 27.

HamelinPiastri two behind, battling with PU temps. Gasly 1.8 ahead, much slower than you.
RicciardoWhat time did Gasly do?
Hamelin25.0. We expect a bit of understeer to start, then rear degradation compared to other cars.
Lap: 29/71 RIC: 1’23.599
HamelinOkay Daniel. Clean laps now, clean laps. Currently P5. Bring it home.
HamelinA reminder on the push toggle after turn 12.

Ricciardo kept ahead of Piastri after the first stint
A lap later he was told to “bring it home”. That meant maintaining his pace as much as possible on a set of tyres he was expecting to be driving on for the next 43 laps.

However maintaining pace would not necessarily mean maintaining position if he had faster cars behind or slower ones ahead, so the attention was soon back how others were faring with pace and tyre management.

Lap: 30/71 RIC: 1’23.571
Hamelin‘Okay, target is mid-23s. When Sainz is pitting he will be close to you. Sainz is currently doing 25.0.
HamelinSainz is boxing, he should be slightly ahead of you.
Lap: 31/71 RIC: 1’23.738
HamelinOkay. Sainz pit exit, just ahead of you. We stick to the plan. Consider middle of seven, a bit too much overrotation now. Let’s put in a bit of understeer. And reminder, push toggle.
HamelinPiastri last lap was a 23.3, two tenths faster. He’s 1.9 behind.
RicciardoOkay keep me posted. I don’t want to give him the DRS.
Lap: 32/71 RIC: 1’23.682
HamelinOkay. Gap is stable, 1.8. Gap is stable. Keep looking after your tyres. Long race ahead.
RicciardoIs anyone still on hard from the beginning?
HamelinAlbon and Ocon. I’ll keep you posted on their tyres.

Moments later, the FIA’s race control system suddenly showed up a yellow flag in the middle sector. Kevin Magnussen had suffered a left-rear suspension failure which had sent him hard into the outside tyres barriers at turn eight, causing severe damage to his car and to the TecPro barriers.

Ricciardo had already pitted and was going to the end, so there was little benefit to him immediately pitting a second time and losing track position on his rivals. Naturally, then, the pair took the break in the action as an opportunity to assess how their rivals were looking.

Lap: 33/71 RIC: 1’47.012
HamelinAnd we stay out.
HamelinOkay the barrier doesn’t look too bad so that might just be a Safety Car, I’ll keep you posted.
RicciardoYep. Yeah, agree.
RicciardoWhat times are they doing? Have they had much deg?
HamelinNegative. Deg was low. Difficult on lap times, they were in traffic. We have a double yellow turn nine, I’ll keep you posted

Ricciardo also asked for an update on another potential rival moments before it became irrelevant as the race was red-flagged.

Lap: 34/71 RIC: 2’20.911
HamelinSo that’s currently P5 and the remaining cars who didn’t pit are boxing now. The Safety Car is currently in turn six. So behind you are Piastri and Russell. They are on the same tyre, same strategy, and Piastri is struggling with PU temperatures. So if we can keep the position and open a small gap we should be okay. And reminder on the double yellow where you’re coming.
RicciardoUnderstood. What’s the pace of Russell like?
HamelinRed flag, red flag.
RicciardoWhat’s the pace of Russell like?

No tyre change took place for Ricciardo during the stoppage, while Russell swapped his hard tyres for used mediums and Piastri did the same. The trio would be restarting the race on tyres that had done similar mileage, but Ricciardo was on the slower compound.

HamelinAhead of you. Ferrari Hard. Hamilton, medium.
RicciardoIs it a new or a used medium?
HamelinUsed. Used.

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There was now also another element at play, despite attempts to keep cars in the shade while red flags were out: cooling.

Chasing the cars ahead would deny Ricciardo the cooling effects of clear air, but then prioritising clean air would put him into the clutches of the chasing Piastri. Russell, meanwhile, got past Ricciardo as soon as green flag action restarted. The second AlphaTauri car then proved to be a useful assistant in helping Ricciardo maintain position – which at that point was sixth place – without having to improve his pace.

Lap: 38/71 RIC: 1’22.952
HamelinPiastri nine tenths behind, Russell one ahead.
HamelinDRS enabled. Russell 1.1, Piastri nine tenths behind.
Lap: 39/71 RIC: 1’22.933
HamelinRussell 1.2, Piastri 1.2 behind. He is fighting with Yuki.
Lap: 40/71 RIC: 1’22.877
HamelinOkay. Numbers are looking okay. Piastri two behind, Russell nine tenths ahead.
HamelinSo keep up the good work on the tires. Keep the good work on the tires.
Lap: 41/71 RIC: 1’22.945
HamelinPiastri 1.9 behind, Russell, 1.1 ahead.
Lap: 42/71 RIC: 1’23.174
HamelinAn increase lift of one step at turn one please for brake temperature management.
HamelinPiastri, two behind.
Lap: 43/71 RIC: 1’22.903
Hamelin‘Okay Daniel, that was good on the lift-off. We’ll keep up the lift-off in heavy traffic please, thank you.
HamelinAnd we have a significant issue with data. So keep us posted on tyres and balance if you need help.
RicciardoYep. All good at the moment.
Lap: 44/71 RIC: 1’23.065
HamelinReminder, Russell on medium. He might struggle to the end. We will see.

As soon as Ricciardo failed to incorporate the tyre management techniques, his gap to Piastri shrunk. Hamelin was quick to remind him of what was at stake if he didn’t continue his careful management of the race.

Lap: 45/71 RIC: 1’23.608
HamelinOkay, I know it’s frustrating, but make sure we keep these tyres alive in heavy traffic. Piastri 2.1 behind.
Lap: 46/71 RIC: 1’23.280
HamelinOkay, Piastri 1.6 this lap. Let’s make sure we don’t give him the DRS. PIastri, 1.6. Piastri, 23.1.
HamelinAnd Russell ahead was asked to manage brake temperature.
Lap: 47/71 RIC: 1’23.783
Hamelin25 laps to go. Piastri 1.8.
Lap: 48/71 RIC: 1’23.473
HamelinOkay. Piastri 1.4 this lap. We lost three tenths in sector one, turns one to three. Head down, clean laps.
Lap: 49/71 RIC: 1’23.467
HamelinOkay, Piastri 3.5, he lost some time fighting with Yuki. On currently same pace and deg as Sainz ahead. Sainz 2.5 ahead.

Tsunoda’s battle with Piastri ended and that left the McLaren driver free to chase Ricciardo. But there was another driver whose pace suggested they could finish ahead of Piastri, and potentially Ricciardo, so became the focus thereon.

Lap: 51/71 RIC: 1’23.135
HamelinHere, Piastri 3.9, Norris is 6.5. Norris is a possible threat, I’ll keep you posted on gap to Norris. He’s doing 23.1.
HamelinWe still have pretty good gap. Norris seven behind. So keep focus on tyres.
Lap: 52/71 RIC: 1’23.282
HamelinWe can see a bit more understeer, consider go back to offset one. If stability is good. Consider back to offset one if stability is good.
HamelinLoud and clear
Lap: 53/71 RIC: 1’23.126
RicciardoIs Norris on hard or medium?
HamelinMedium. Pace and deg is aligned to Piasti and Russell. Norris is 5.5 behind, he’s doing high 22s.
HamelinAnd if he’s able to keep that pace, he may catch you three laps from the end.
Lap: 55/71 RIC: 1’23.307
Lap: 56/71 RIC: 1’23.357
HamelinI will only keep you updated on pace. McLaren is talking about driver swap. Piastri, three behind.
Lap: 57/71 RIC: 1’23.007
HamelinNorris, 2.5, 15 laps to go.
Lap: 58/71 RIC: 1’23.144
HamelinNorris 2.1. Russell 2.3 ahead.
RicciardoOkay. Just let me know the strategy with Norris.
Lap: 59/71 RIC: 1’23.103
RicciardoBecause it’ll probably be hard to defend him. So is it better to let him attack George?. Just let me know.
HamelinPiastri is 5.2 behind you. I’ll keep you posted.
HamelinRacing Norris clean, racing Norris clean. We try to hold the position. Russell 2.2 ahead.

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Despite Ricciardo’s best efforts to hold off the hard-charging McLaren, Norris swept around the outside of him at turn four to demote him down to seventh place. But with there being little he could do about Norris, Ricciardo’s focus for the final part of the race would be to keep the second McLaren behind him.

Lap: 60/71 RIC: 1’25.294
HamelinOkay, Norris has got DRS now and Piastri is 5.4 back.
HamelinOkay. Head down, Piastri 3.4 behind. We were matching his pace.
Lap: 61/71 RIC: 1’23.655
RicciardoYep, understood.
Lap: 62/71 RIC: 1’23.070
HamelinPiastri 2.5. His last lap, 22.9.
Lap: 64/71 RIC: 1’22.811
HamelinPiastri 2.5, eight more laps.

Ricciardo was unable to catch a rapidly fading Russell in the closing laps, finishing just 0.55 seconds behind while having a gap of 1.534s to Piastri behind. McLaren claimed Piastri had damage that had a “significant” impact on his car’s performance. Hamelin certainly had eyes on his driver moving up a spot at the end rather than needing to concentrate on holding on to seventh.

And the events of the United States Grand Prix, where two cars were disqualified post-race, gave Hamelin hope Ricciardo could still be rewarded with a higher position.

HamelinOh, what a shame, very close. I guess it’s good to be disappointed with P7. Charge on, fail 84.
RicciardoOh, yeah. Shit. I got close. Did you say fail 84?
HamelinFail 84 fail, please.
RicciardoOkay. All right. Understood.
RicciardoWell, lots to process, but I think definitely a good weekend. So, yeah, let’s keep this going. Some good points.
HamelinYeah, good points and Haas didn’t score so that’s good, that’s good. Lot to do again next race. Good management, good starts, I think you should be pleased.
RicciardoYep. Yep. All right, cool. Thanks guys. Obviously I know we were really close to sixth.
HamelinYeah I share your frustration big time. Let’s see. Let’s see what happens in parc ferme.
RicciardoAll right. Yeah. Thank you. Should still definitely be proud. It’s a good weekend. We’ll keep learning. Grazie mille.

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2023 Mexican Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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3 comments on “Transcript: How Ricciardo’s race went awry soon after he was told to “bring it home””

  1. Can you post Yuki’s radio transcript as a counterpoint? That would be extremely interesting. It’d probably make a good article if you combined.

    1. Can you post Yuki’s radio transcript as a counterpoint?

      Beeeep. Beeep. Beeep :)

      Seriously though, yeah, interwoven description would be quite interesting.

      1. lol, that’d be funny. I’m more interested to see how Yuki works on settings and strategy during the race with his engineer by comparison through.

Comments are closed.