Daniel Ricciardo was frustrated to miss out on points in Brazil, falling victim to an unfortunate regulation after sustaining damage on lap 1.
Since returning to Formula 1 mid-season, there have been plenty of ups and downs for the Australian driver. His brilliant performance in Mexico was undoubtedly a highlight, showing great speed after spending several races on the sidelines.
Despite missing out on crucial track time due to injury, the 34-year-old is demonstrating his calibre. Unfortunately for Ricciardo, he was at the wrong place at the wrong time in lap 1 – suffering rear wing damage from a rogue piece of debris.
The red flag gave the team an opportunity to repair his car, but not without suffering a race-deciding setback. Per the sporting regulations, Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri were a lap down on the rest of the field.
This technicality was detrimental for both drivers, though the more senior Australian was especially competitive. Once again, the AT04 proved capable of fighting for points – which Yuki Tsunoda secured in P9.
Speaking post-race, Ricciardo was honest about his frustrating afternoon in Brazil:
“They did a great job, and we were ready to go on time – and then they told us we were a lap down,” he explained post-race.
“On top of that, I want to say we were exceptionally fast today. We couldn’t always show it because we were a lap down.
“Playing the team game, of course, and not get in the way of Yuki – or even other cars around us.
“But the times we did have clear air… frustratingly fast.
“I feel for the team. For me and my Championship? I’m not in a Championship hunt. But I’m here to help the team get 7th, and I feel I could’ve heavily contributed today.”
His frustrations are understandable, as AlphaTauri sits within touching distance of Williams in the standings. Still, there are plenty of positives to take for what remains of 2024.
Not only is Ricciardo driving well, but his team is increasingly competitive. As he works to secure a Red Bull seat in 2025, he will surely have the tools at his disposal to make an impact next season.