An ominous sign? F1 cameras capture Daniel Ricciardo moment in RB garage

Jamie Woodhouse
A downbeat Daniel Ricciardo on the RB pit wall at Suzuka.

A downbeat Daniel Ricciardo.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but Daniel Ricciardo will be hoping that a shot of he and Liam Lawson captured at Suzuka will not prove to be a foreshadowing of what is to come.

Ricciardo has endured an underwhelming start to the F1 2024 campaign with Red Bull’s junior team RB as he auditions for a return to the senior team. So far though, there appears to be a greater likelihood of his current seat coming under threat rather than him applying pressure on Sergio Perez.

Potentially ominous Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson sight at Suzuka

Japanese Grand Prix qualifying suggested that an improved weekend was on the cards for Ricciardo as he came within a fraction of making Q3, even if it was team-mate Yuki Tsunoda who ensured his elimination.

However, a first-lap incident left Ricciardo watching the race from the RB garage, where the cameras focused on reserve driver Lawson – who would most likely replace Ricciardo at RB if Red Bull made the call – watching on close behind.

RB's Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson filmed in the garage at Suzuka.
RB's Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson.

A poor start for Ricciardo saw him meet a charging Alex Albon in the middle on the opening lap, Ricciardo moving over slightly onto the racing line and tagging Albon as both drivers were sent into the barriers.

This marked a fresh blow for Ricciardo, who is putting his hope in a new chassis set to arrive for the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix. Should his performances not improve, then the threat posed by Lawson – who impressed in his string of five races when replacing the injured Ricciardo in mid-2023 – will grow stronger. recommends

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Reflecting on the incident, Ricciardo blamed the medium tyres which he started on for putting him in that predicament at the Japanese Grand Prix race start.

“We definitely got gobbled up on that medium,” he told the media. “That was weird because the cars in front of us looked like they got off the line well.

“It just looks like Yuki and I didn’t have the grip that we anticipated and as soon as we launched I could see [Valtteri] Bottas and [Nico] Hulkenberg just split us and go around.

“And then into [Turn] 1, I was in the middle with Yuki and an Alpine. And into Turn 2 I thought: ‘Alright, let’s just settle.’

“And as soon as I got on the throttle, I was still struggling so then I think [Lance] Stroll was on the outside so I was trying to hold him off and then I guess as I started to come back for Turn 3 Albon was there.

“I watched his onboard and I don’t even know if he wanted to be there, but his traction was so much better on the soft that he was like: ‘Well, there’s space until there wasn’t.’ I didn’t see him.

“But honestly, I always assume maybe someone is there at Turn 1. I never tried to use the full width of the track and be completely ignorant, but I guess there was obviously not enough room.

“All things considered, if we could wind back the clock, I would start on the softs. But for the record, I wanted to be on the medium. That’s not something I fought against, but knowing what we know now the softs would have been a lot a lot better for us.”

Tsunoda went on to score a point for 10th place, taking his and RB’s tally to seven with Ricciardo still waiting for his first points of the 2024 season.

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