Let me start by stating that I love Daniel Ricciardo and F1 is much more fun with his infectious smile and paddock antics.
The Australian has produced some jaw-dropping moments throughout his career, but none more notable than Red Bull’s 2018 Monaco victory.
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However, it was later in that season that everything started to go downhill for Western Australia.
In his two seasons at the wheel of Renault, Ricciardo went from title-race challenger to snatching top-runner leftovers.
In 2020, his second and final season with Renault, Ricciardo finished fifth in the drivers’ standings. He only finished outside the top 10 on his three occasions, one of which was his DNF.
Honey Badger has shown he has consistency in a car that has never competed with the likes of Mercedes or Red Bull.
Then on to McLaren, Ricciardo teamed up with Lando Norris and got a good car meant to push him higher in the drivers’ championship.
Since joining McLaren, Ricciardo and Norris have been teammates for 35 races. Of those, Ricciardo has outperformed his teammate only 10 times.
A 10 out of 35 is a pretty bleak statistic and shows that every Australian F1 fan’s favorite driver is not the man he used to be.
I’m not saying he should be kicked out of the sport, but it’s time to put aside his love for Ricciardo and think about McLaren’s decision from a business perspective.
The way McLaren has been through this Oscar Piastri – what the report suggests Ricardo sacked one season early, replaced by young Australian gun —and the way Ricardo was treated poorly. Poor people are very generous, but I get the idea.
Ricciardo recorded McLaren’s last Grand Prix win last year when he crossed the line ahead of Norris in Italy. Since that moment, the Australian has not set foot on the podium.
The duo has a car that can at least lead the chase pack and score a high points finish. Norris has been creditable throughout 2022, and he has only finished outside the top nine three times. One of them he DNF’d.
Things are pretty ugly for Ricardo. The Australian only finished inside the top ten in four of the thirteen races, only four ahead of Norris.
Norris held an 11-2 advantage in qualifying, with the Australian’s numbers even darker. The total score is 76-19 for her. Only Max Verstappen holds a greater in-team advantage at Red Bull.
We all love Ricciardo and wouldn’t want him out of F1. But McLaren’s choice to go with Piastri is the right move.
It may hurt to say and admit it, but deep down you know it to be true.
Piastri and Norris could be a couple to consider as McLaren looks to close the gap to Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.
We’d love to see Ricardo join a new team and get back into competitive fighting, but we’re overlooking the Australians that day.
Nothing makes me happier than being proven wrong. But if we take a step back from recent history, it’s clear that the eight-time Grand Prix winner won’t be returning to the front of the grid.
McLaren right to choose Oscar Piastri, Lando Norris over Daniel Ricciardo | F1 2022
Source link McLaren right to choose Oscar Piastri, Lando Norris over Daniel Ricciardo | F1 2022