F1 2022, Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku, Daniel Ricciardo position, McLaren team orders, Lando Norris, result - bdsthanhhoavn.com

F1 2022, Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku, Daniel Ricciardo position, McLaren team orders, Lando Norris, result

Daniel Ricciardo finished eighth in a much-improved performance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that could arguably have been even better if his own team didn’t hold him back.

Max Verstappen won the race ahead of Sergio Perez and George Russell as both Ferraris had engine failures and were forced to retire.

Starting 12th on the grid, Ricciardo drove an excellent first stint on hard tyres and was clearly faster than Norris on the mediums.

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Ricciardo wanted to overtake Norris so he could have a crack at overtaking Fernando Alonso in front, but was ordered by McLaren to back off and told not to not pass Norris given their differing strategies.

“If this is his best pace, I’ve got more,” Ricciardo said over team radio.

He later added: “If I sit behind any longer I’m going to get eaten up by (Pierre) Gasly.”

Norris eventually got out of the way by pitting but, by then, Ricciardo’s tyres were wearing and he had lost most of his speed advantage. He was soon passed by Gasly and Lewis Hamilton.

McLaren’s team orders were a real head-scratcher. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
McLaren’s team orders were a real head-scratcher. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“Holding up Daniel Ricciardo didn’t pay off for McLaren,” Sky Sports commentator Paul di Resta said.

“What could Daniel have done if he’d been let loose on the hard tyre when that was the faster tyre at the beginning?”

Ricciardo managed to stay ahead of Norris by taking his only pit stop halfway through the race during a virtual safety car period.

Norris caught up to Ricciardo and had better pace in the closing stages of the race, but this time it was the young Brit who received team orders not to overtake his teammate.

Norris ultimately finished one spot behind Ricciardo in ninth but made it clear over team radio he wasn’t overly impressed by McLaren’s instructions.

“Of course it’s a race and I want to finish eighth,” Norris said after the race.

“I understand (the decision) but at the same time we’re here to race. I think we know that. I’m not going to say anything because it’s fair I think what we did.

“Just to end the race, you want to race to finish. It wouldn’t have mattered if it’s eighth or ninth but as a driver you just want to be that further ahead position.”

Leclerc bails OUT of BAKU | 00:32

Norris believed there was “a small difference between what happens in the middle of the race just fighting for finish position when there’s no risk at the end.”

“I think the team did a good job, I’m happy with that, nothing to complain about,” he said.

Norris arguably let his true feelings briefly slip in a separate interview with F1, when he pointed out that he was held up by Ricciardo for longer.

“Daniel did help me out in the middle, it was one lap that he wasn’t allowed to overtake me on,” he said. “If the return favour is to not overtake him at all in the last three laps, I guess I have to accept it.”

Nonetheless, he added: “I think it was fair, I don’t think what we did was incorrect. It’s just you’re racing, you always want to push it, you always want to find what the limit of it is.

“I could’ve finished eighth if I was more of a rebel, but I accept what we did as a team.”

F1 fans were convinced McLaren’s team orders stitched Ricciardo up when he arguably could have finished as high as fifth if given the chance to attack when he had the pace.

Ricciardo said he would have liked the opportunity to attack Alonso early in the race but the team orders evened themselves out in the end.

“Happy to be back in the points,” he said.

“Obviously you want to be quicker but as a team I think we maximised what we could do.

“We obviously played around a bit with team orders. I think in the end it kind of neutralised itself and I don’t we could have attacked Fernando any differently.

Daniel Ricciardo was much improved in Azerbaijan. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)Source: AFP

“At the beginning of course I was feeling I could attack and obviously wanted to but had to obey and control myself. But these are things we talk about before the race so it’s not a shock or a surprise.

“With two or three laps to go I was told we were going to hold positions so I guess the favour got returned.

“We’ll probably talk about it now … but happy to be back in the points and both cars. On a weekend where we struggled with overall pace as a team, happy with that.”

It was just the second time Ricciardo has had a top 10 finish this season and he said the result was promising given his recent struggles.

“Happy to be back in the points for sure,” he said.

“I know I’m not perfect yet with this car but I think we did make a really good step this weekend.”

Former world champion Damon Hill said the result was “just what the doctor ordered” for Ricciardo.

di Resta added: “Formula One needs Daniel in there. He’s such a key character in the paddock when he’s driving like this.

“You want Daniel to take some momentum from this into next weekend as well.”

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