Daniel Ricciardo tried to make the right strategy call for his Sunday’s race but instead was ignored by his team.
On a day when it seemed like Daniel Ricciardo was returning to form. A poor strategy decision and a five-second penalty for colliding with Stroll’s Aston Martin; saw Ricciardo once again finish outside the top ten.
Starting out ninth on the soft tyres, Ricciardo was boxed in exiting the first corner and lost positions to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.
However, it was just after the first pitstop cycle, when his McLaren team bolted on a pair of yellow mediums, that Ricciardo gave a glimpse that the Honey Badger was not yet dead.
During the cycle, he made up time on the two Alpines in front and was on Fernando Alonso’s gearbox. When Esteban Ocon left the pits on lap 24.
Tires warmed up, and Alonso attacked his teammate at turn three but ran wide; allowing Ricciardo to take them both down the inside on the short run to turn four.
It was clearly a satisfying moment for the 33-year-old, who let out a triumphant ‘Let’s f***ing go’ over the team radio after making the move.
He immediately pulled away from the pair and was comfortably running eighth. When he had to make a second pit stop for the hard tyres on lap 46.
A questionable decision considering Ferrari had already put Charles Leclerc on a set of hards; and watched as he had virtually gone backwards.
The decision to pit Ricciardo for hards and drop him in the middle of traffic leaving him at the mercy of the rest of the midfield; looked like a poor strategy call from the team.
However, Daniel was also unsure about this questionable tire strategy which ultimately took him out of contention for a top 10 finish.
Daniel Ricciardo knew his strategy was wrong
In a reported audio exchange over the team radio; Ricciardo is seen questioning whether they would be able to make the soft work but the team replies “only for 10 or 15 laps”
He then asked if they could stay longer on mediums and make it work but was left ignored.
Daniel clearly knew the play was to go long on mediums, then switch to softs ahead, but the team ignored him and left him with a defensive message in the end.
But his struggles carried on during his final stint. When his brand new hard tyres locked up just a few corners after exiting the pits; leading him to run into Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin.
Stroll was attempting to overtake the Australian, prior to the collision, which sent the Aston Martin driver spinning. And resulted in Ricciardo getting a five-second penalty for the hit.
From there, the West Australian struggled to gain any pace on the hards crossing the line a lap down on race winner Max Verstappen in 13th; before being penalized and dropping to 15th.
Ricciardo remains in 12th place in the standings with just 19 points to his name. Meanwhile his teammate Norris is in seventh place. The team sits fifth in the constructors’ standings, just four points behind Alpine.