Australian F1 driver, Daniel Ricciardo, has recorded his 3rd DNF from 4 starts with his new Renault team, capping an average start to his 2019 season. Starting in 10th place on the grid, despite being knocked out in Q2, Ricciardo started the Azerbaijan Grand Prix strongly, passing Ferrari young gun, Charles Leclerc in the opening lap. However, Leclerc quickly made amends by overtaking Ricciardo in the early stages of the race, highlighting the Ferrari’s technical superiority over the Renault.
No rear parking sensors?
Ricciardo was slowly working his way up the field, after his first pit stop left him at the back of the field. However, a mixture of other drivers pitting and Ricciardo’s overtaking prowess soon saw him challenging for 10th place and a shot at points. On the 31st lap, Ricciardo attempted to pass former teammate, Daniil Kyvat (Torro Rosso), on turn three before locking up from excessive pace.
While neither vehicle made contact in the initial blunder, Ricciardo quickly put his car into reverse to get back on the track. Unfortunately, Kyvat’s vehicle was directly behind Ricciardo, causing the contact. In a post-match interview, Ricciardo took full-responsibility for the collision, copping a three-grid penalty for the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.
Mercedes clear ahead
With Bottas and Hamilton finishing 1st and 2nd respectively, Mercedes have commenced their 2019 season in record-breaking style, claiming 1st and 2nd in all four races thus far. Both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing face an uphill battle in poaching some points from the Mercedes team, while Renault, who probably saw themselves as “the best of the rest” have slipped behind McLaren in the points standings.
Renault fans will be hoping that Ricciardo can string together a few finishes and that Hulkenberg can find some form.