Ricciardo plagued by fuel warning issues in Qatar

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo ahead of an Aston Martin. Qatar, November 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, ahead of an Aston Martin at the Qatar Grand Prix. November 2021.

After completely losing his bearings into Turn 1, Daniel Ricciardo had his Qatar GP then further ruined by fuel warnings.

The McLaren driver already started well out of position at the Losail International Circuit in P14, but on the opening lap Ricciardo’s situation worsened still as he lost sight completely of where Turn 1 was.

Not long after that he was told to save fuel urgently, resulting in an extreme loss of pace.

It was an issue which persisted for much of the race, so by the time he was allowed to push again, it was too late.

So, after crossing the line P12, Ricciardo wants answers as to what went wrong to cause such a drama with the fuel usage.

“I’m glad it’s over because we had a very painful race actually,” he told Sky F1.

“I don’t know obviously how much gets broadcasted, I guess a lot of people had hunches and I’m running quite far back.

“[At the start] I was in the middle of I think [Lance] Stroll and Charles [Leclerc], and basically I got closer to Turn 1 and I couldn’t see any more, I couldn’t pick…obviously the braking markers, if you can’t see the apex you look for braking markers.

“And I couldn’t see them, so I had no single idea where Turn 1 was, so I lifted and it was just way too early, but I was just in the middle and kind of in no man’s land.

“As always I’ll look and see if I could have positioned the car elsewhere, but basically I just couldn’t see where Turn 1 was.

“So lifted so that I didn’t do something silly into Turn 1 and go up someone’s gearbox, so that cost a bit.


“And then after a few laps we got back into let’s say position, but then very early I had a fuel warning on the dash, actually on Lap 1 already.

“So I ignored it because it’s strange to get that already, and then I was told quite early ‘save, save, save fuel’, and I was saving so much to a point where tyres got cold, brakes got cold, and we were at times two seconds a lap slower.

“Basically it was like we were not going to get it to the end, I was doing so much saving that you [looks to the interviewer] probably could have driven as fast as me.

“It was kind of pointless doing what we were doing, because we were just taking ourselves further out of the race, but let’s say we were doing it to follow instructions.

“And then it got to a point I was told don’t save anymore, so it went from that to that, and then we pushed and then obviously the race was gone.

“More importantly there is something that went wrong today, a miscalculation or an error in the reading that forced us to do what we did.

“So that is something that we have to look into because it dictated the race. The easiest way to say it is that we were a passenger for 75% of the race.”