The Mexican Grand Prix was a uncommon brilliant spot in an in any other case forgettable 2022 marketing campaign for Daniel Ricciardo.
The McLaren driver is marking time till the tip of the season following the announcement he won’t return to the workforce once more in 2023 as deliberate.
He certified exterior the highest 10 once more in Mexico, however on race day tyre technique fell in his favour. Regardless of being penalised for a tangle with Yuki Tsunoda, he picked up a badly-needed factors end for McLaren, which moved them nearer to rivals Alpine within the constructors championship.
Ricciardo freely admitted afterwards he had been in a position to bounce forward of workforce mate Lando Norris because of a mid-race change in technique. Each drivers began the race on the medium rubber, however after Norris pitted for the arduous tyres, McLaren realised the comfortable tyres would work for the second stint, and Ricciardo took a set of these.
Whereas he dismissed Norris’ declare that the technique was value as a lot as 40 seconds, Ricciardo acknowledged he benefited from pitting later and selecting a special compound.
“If it was 40 seconds, everybody would have accomplished it,” stated Ricciardo. “I imply, don’t get me unsuitable, it was the higher technique, there’s little question. However it was in our plan, if the tyre was lasting, hold going and attempt to assault on the finish. And that’s what we did.”
Daniel Ricciardo’s 2022 Mexican Grand Prix workforce radio messages
Ricciardo was concerned in a first-corner collision on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 12 months earlier. This time he was extra cautious, however misplaced two locations on the opening lap, as Yuki Tsunoda beginning strongly instantly behind him and Zhou Guanyu discovered a well past too.
|Lap: 1 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’33.983|
|Lap: 2 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’25.959|
|Lap: 3 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’26.170|
|Lap: 4 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’25.498|
|Lap: 5 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’24.721|
|Lap: 6 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’24.629|
|Lap: 7 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’25.571|
Whereas McLaren had been involved about managing the rising temperatures in his automotive, Ricciardo was making an attempt to regain his place from Zhou, which he finally managed.
|Lap: 8 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’25.076|
|Lap: 9 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.528|
Getting previous Zhou was essential, as Ricciardo was in a position to put 5 seconds on the Alfa Romeo earlier than his pit cease.
“The one factor that saved me just a little optimistic was I used to be faster than Zhou and I really feel just like the Alfas had been fast all weekend,” he stated afterwards. “So I used to be dropping time with him however finally after I handed him I assumed, ‘okay, possibly we’re we’re nonetheless on this race’.”
|Lap: 10 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.666|
|Lap: 11 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.770|
|Lap: 12 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.745|
|Lap: 13 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.321|
|Lap: 14 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.495|
At this stage within the race McLaren had been nonetheless on ‘plan A’ for Ricciardo, indicating they deliberate to pit for the arduous tyre compound. He indicated he most well-liked that technique.
Ricciardo was additionally involved with making an attempt to enhance his automotive’s braking efficiency, which has been a recurring theme since his joined the workforce final yr.
|Lap: 15 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.664|
|Lap: 16 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.713|
|Lap: 17 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.675|
|Lap: 18 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.886|
|Lap: 19 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.787|
|Lap: 20 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.687|
|Lap: 21 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.649|
|Lap: 22 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.730|
|Lap: 23 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.559|
|Lap: 24 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.922|
|Lap: 25 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.823|
|Lap: 26 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.789|
|Lap: 27 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.530|
|Lap: 28 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’24.886|
The primary entrance runners to pit had been those that, in contrast to the McLaren drivers, began on the comfortable compounds. The Mercedes drivers had began on mediums and opted for hards once they got here in.
McLaren seemed to be inspired by what they noticed of Lewis Hamilton’s preliminary sector occasions on hards, and swiftly introduced Norris in. In the meantime Ricciardo was instructed to push in anticipation of his pit cease.
|Lap: 29 Place: 10 Lap time: 1’24.919|
|Lap: 30 Place: 10 Lap time: 1’24.744|
|Lap: 31 Place: 11 Lap time: 1’25.432|
Ricciardo was inside 4 seconds of his workforce mate when Norris pitted, which gave him encouragement. “I might see Lando and the blokes, they had been actually, some laps, faster,” he recalled. “However then I might reel them again. So I felt I used to be nonetheless within the struggle, which hasn’t been fairly often this yr.
“So I used to be type of simply doing my tempo and as soon as I noticed they pitted, I wasn’t actually that tempted to comply with them as a result of it simply places me in that race and I’m simply behind them.”
|Lap: 32 Place: 10 Lap time: 1’24.527|
|Lap: 33 Place: 10 Lap time: 1’24.526|
Whereas Norris couldn’t ‘change on’ the hards instantly, McLaren had been intrigued to notice Vettel had began the race on a set of soppy tyres and was nonetheless going robust. They started to consider switching Ricciardo to softs as a substitute – ‘plan C’.
Ricciardo was open to the concept. “Tom saved asking me how for much longer I might go. I stated, though my tempo won’t be the quickest automotive on the observe, I felt like we will hold stretching it.
“I feel Vettel was nonetheless on a comfortable doing effectively, in order that gave me some confidence that tyre would work. And it was actually a great technique.”
|Lap: 34 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’24.473|
|Lap: 35 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’24.297|
|Lap: 36 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’24.408|
|Lap: 37 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’24.328|
|Lap: 38 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’24.435|
|Lap: 39 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’24.631|
|Lap: 40 Place: 8 Lap time: 1’24.537|
|Lap: 41 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’24.508|
|Lap: 42 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’24.986|
By lap 41 Ricciardo was dropping effectively over half a second per lap in comparison with Norris, and McLaren determined it was time to deliver him in.
|Lap: 43 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’24.601|
|Lap: 44 Place: 8 Lap time: 1’27.285|
|Lap: 45 Place: 13 Lap time: 1’42.369|
|Lap: 46 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’22.232|
Ricciardo was instantly pleased with the choice to take the comfortable rubber. “As quickly as I acquired out the pits, the tyre was so a lot better,” he stated. “I might lean on it and I felt like I used to be in management.
“So I used to be like, let’s simply use this to see what it’s, see what it’s acquired. After which it stayed comparatively constant. So I type of pushed actually arduous and simply tried to handle it and it was nonetheless giving me much more tempo.”
|Lap: 47 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’22.220|
|Lap: 48 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’22.022|
|Lap: 49 Place: 12 Lap time: 1’23.189|
He shortly caught Tsunoda, who had began on softs and switched to mediums 15 laps earlier than Ricciardo pitted. The McLaren was a lot faster, however when Ricciardo took a half-look up the within of the AlphaTauri at flip sixt, the pair made contact, leaving his rival with race-ending bodywork injury.
There was little dialogue of the collision on the radio apart from the workforce noting Ricciardo’s automotive had emerged unscathed.
|Lap: 50 Place: 11 Lap time: 1’26.383|
|Lap: 51 Place: 11 Lap time: 1’24.887|
|Lap: 52 Place: 11 Lap time: 1’22.817|
|Lap: 53 Place: 11 Lap time: 1’22.722|
The stewards swiftly handed down a 10-second time penalty for a transfer they considered as “too late and too optimistic”. However McLaren, realising how robust Ricciardo’s tempo was, instructed him it made no distinction to their technique.
|Lap: 54 Place: 11 Lap time: 1’22.836|
Ricciardo was sad with the penalty. He’d been penalised for a collision with Carlos Sainz Jnr at Imola earlier within the yr, however on that event felt he’d made a mistake.
However he saved his counsel on the radio. “I figured they in all probability needed to do one thing,” he stated afterwards. “But in addition it’s so arduous whenever you’re within the warmth of battle.
“I didn’t keep in mind locking [up] like with Carlos in Imola, flip one, I went off the apex and slid into him. It didn’t really feel like that. I used to be going to come back on the radio and vent just a little, however I selected to say nothing, I went fairly darkish after which simply determined to maintain pushing and attempt to make up for it.”
Ricciardo’s frustration was little question soothed by choosing up a place from his workforce mate, who was instructed to let him by. “Daniel is the automotive behind Perez,” Will Joseph suggested Norris, “he shall be faster than you, let him go, he has a 10-second penalty.”
|Lap: 55 Place: 10 Lap time: 1’22.859|
|Lap: 56 Place: 10 Lap time: 1’23.428|
Ricciardo picked up one other place from Bottas and closed on the 2 Alpines – McLaren’s primary championship rivals. As he closed on them, Alonso’s automotive developed an engine drawback and he was a straightforward goal. Ricciardo additionally took Ocon for seventh.
|Lap: 57 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’22.616|
|Lap: 58 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’23.016|
|Lap: 59 Place: 9 Lap time: 1’23.458|
|Lap: 60 Place: 8 Lap time: 1’24.437|
Along with his superior tempo, Ricciardo now needed to pull out a 10-second lead over Ocon to negate the impact of his post-race penalty. However he was susceptible to being lapped by George Russell, who was closing in behind.
“In the previous few laps I used to be fairly nervous as a result of George was so near getting a blue flag for me and I knew I might lose a few seconds with that and that may have dropped me again into Ocon,” stated Ricciardo. “So I used to be pushing like hell simply to attempt to maintain that two-second hole.”
To Ricciardo’s aid, Russell made an additional pit cease to suit a recent set of tyres in a bid to set the quickest lap and take a bonus level. That meant Ricciardo didn’t should gradual for blue flags, saving him valuable seconds. “I’ll purchase him a beer,” Ricciardo joked after the race.
|Lap: 61 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’22.804|
|Lap: 62 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’22.740|
|Lap: 63 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’22.735|
Ricciardo’s effort to construct up a lead was briefly interrupted when the Digital Security Automobile was deployed in response to Alonso’s retirement. It didn’t final lengthy, nonetheless, to the frustration of Norris, who was lobbying McLaren to make use of the chance to pit him for a set of softs.
|Lap: 64 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’36.245|
|Lap: 65 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’26.779|
Over the ultimate laps Ricciardo pulled out the hole he wanted over Ocon, thanks partly to Russell pitting.
|Lap: 66 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’22.662|
|Lap: 67 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’22.667|
|Lap: 68 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’22.801|
|Lap: 69 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’22.955|
He took the chequered flag contained in the points-paying positions for under the sixth time this yr.
|Lap: 70 Place: 7 Lap time: 1’23.318|
|Ending place: 7|
Not solely did the outcome come as a aid to Ricciardo, he was happy to have had a uncommon race wherein he felt he might assault. “Even the factors finishes, even in all probability final yr, I really feel we had been usually defending than attacking,” he stated. “So simply to have an attacking race, particularly for me with this automotive, to really feel like I can assault just a little bit extra with it, it’s only a good feeling.”
Nonetheless with simply two races left as a McLaren driver, Ricciardo isn’t getting carried away about his future possibilities on the premise of a single robust race.
“I assume higher late than by no means,” he stated on Sunday night in Mexico Metropolis. “I’m going to take at the moment for what it’s. I’m going to take pleasure in it and recognize that we did our tempo and it was superior and no matter.
“I hope it signifies that it’ll be like that the following two races, however I don’t need to be detrimental, however I don’t even need to look forward. I simply need to take at the moment for what it’s and hopefully we’ve learnt one thing from it.”