Daniel Ricciardo blames dirt on the track for Q1 exit at Dutch GP

Sam Cooper
Daniel Ricciardo sits in the cockpit. Spain May 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo blamed dirt on the track for his early exit from Dutch Grand Prix qualifying that saw him eliminated in Q1.

Ricciardo failed to move on from the first stage of qualifying for the 21st time in his career as he could manage only the 17th best time around the Zandvoort circuit.

He was knocked out alongside Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen, Sebastian Vettel and Nicholas Latifi in what was a disappointing blow for the Australian given his pace in the two Friday practice sessions.

Ricciardo had reached the top 10 in both FP1 and FP2, but troubles seemed to appear on Saturday as he slipped to P17 in FP3 before being eliminated at the earliest opportunity during qualifying.

Speaking after his exit, Ricciardo blamed dirt that had kicked up onto the track for ruining his final run.

“[At the] second last corner I guess whoever was in front of me, they put a wheel in the dirt or something,” he told F1.com. “So as soon as I pulled out of the chicane, corkscrew, whatever, I was looking obviously up to the next apex and could see just brown all over the track.

“A lot of dirt and I was hoping it wouldn’t affect the grip, but it did and cost me about three tenths, I think, so that was a difference, putting me out in Q1.

“I think the lap was…it was okay. It’s not electrifying but it was definitely good enough to keep going in qualy and I think then it was probably a couple tenths to find.”

Ricciardo’s early elimination was in contrast to his team-mate Lando Norris, who managed P7. For Ricciardo, who will be hoping to show potential suitors what he can still do on a race track after Oscar Piastri was confirmed as his replacement this week, he said he wanted to keep expectations in check even after a promising Friday.

“I don’t think it (his qualifying lap) was tracking to be too bad, especially where we were this morning,” he said. “We were pretty lost in FP3, scratching our heads. So I think it was trending better,  but one of those ones where you can’t do much.

“I try to not get too excited on any Friday. It’s so hard to know this year. I feel like if we have a good Friday, we were always expecting the others to make a step up. Saying that, we are not a Q1 car – I think it was unfortunate circumstances.”

Ricciardo will start P17 on the grid for Sunday’s race alongside Magnussen.