Daniel Ricciardo’s first season with Renault crashed to a new low in Hungary but the Aussie has shown he still has the fighting spirit.
Overall, his move has not lived up to expectations at the halfway point of the season, sitting 11th on the drivers championship with plenty of teething problems in his first year since moving on from Red Bull.
But despite starting from last place on the grid and finishing 14th, Ricciardo was able to find some passion from behind the wheel.
Having made his way up to 10th during the race after refusing to pit until the 46th lap — easily the latest stop of the day — Ricciardo’s Renault was stuck behind Kevin Magnussen’s Haas for the remainder of the race.
The Aussie tried to go past but Magnussen made sure the Renault stayed on his tail. Ricciardo was captured on team radio having a go at Magnussen as the frustration built as the race approached the final 10 laps.
“This (beep) is taking the (beep) movement on the breaking,” Ricciardo said as Sky Sports appeared to beep out explicit language.
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He also appeared to have flipped the bird at Magnussen when he went past at some point in the race.
A shame Daniel Ricciardo got cramp in his middle finger when passing Kevin Magnussen in Hungary…#F1pic.twitter.com/bIma5W1oNw
It had been a frustrating weekend for Ricciardo, who qualified 18th after a shock Q1 exit on Saturday which saw Racing Point’s Sergio Perez accuse him of being “disrespectful”.
Ricciardo admitted he hadn’t been as upset as he had after qualifying in some time.
But even though he had started in 20th place on the grid after switching his power unit and copping a penalty, there were some bright spots.
“It was always going to be tough starting at the back of the grid, but there were some positive moments,” Ricciardo explained.
“We made the hard tyres last well and then had good pace on the soft tyre towards the end.
“There are some positives and the summer break will be good for us. We’ll reset, take some time off, we know we’re in it together and we’ll be targeting a better second-half of the season.
“It was frustrating not to get past Magnussen. I felt he was moving under braking, and I couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t happy about that as we could have progressed even further at the end.”
The weekend started with all smiles from Daniel Ricciardo.Source:AP
Racefans.net reported Magnussen was warned by race control for the repeated change of line in braking zones to keep Ricciardo behind him.
FIA race director Michael Masi said: “There was a warning to the team about the consistency of it, not so much the one-off (move), but (the) repeated part of it.”
It was a frustrating weekend for Renault with Nico Hulkenberg also finishing outside the points in 12th. Team principle Cyril Abiteboul said it was a “poor result”.
“With Nico, we were targeting points, but with an engine having to run in safe mode, and a very modest advantage over the soft tyre starters, we could not make our strategy really work,” he said.
“Daniel ran a good race, but starting last is always going to be a challenge at a track like Budapest. He still managed to gain several positions and had a good fight with Magnussen until the last corner, showing that he is a fighter who does not surrender.
“His attitude on track must be an inspiration for us as we head towards the summer break, with a first half of the season well below our objectives.”
Far from the idea weekend from Daniel Ricciardo.Source:Getty Images
Ricciardo has been honest about how the team is going and before the weekend, he said the team needed improvement in order to be able to compete for podiums in 2020.
“I don’t want to say ‘in line’ because obviously I hoped for more but I knew it was going to happen like this,” Ricciardo said when asked about his expectations when joining Renault.
“We’ve bounced around in between everything really, but now, at this halfway point, I think we can say, ‘Alright, we need to do better if we want to be on target for podiums in 2020’.
“We need to start making bigger steps for the second half of the year, so up until now, let’s say I’m somewhere in the middle with expectation, but I would now expect the second half of the season to have some more regular top six finishes or something.
“If we stay where we are now ‘til the end of the season, then that’s lower than what we expect.”
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