F1 2022 Austrian Grand Prix qualifying result: Daniel Ricciardo’s bleak McLaren radio reply

Daniel Ricciardo gave a two-word reply on his team radio when given bad news at the end of a day of misery. It sums it all up.

Daniel Ricciardo’s two word response on team radio after another qualifying disaster shows how truly bleak it is for the Aussie star.

The McLaren driver was knocked out in the opening qualifying stage and will start Sunday morning’s sprint race from 16th on the grid at the Austrian Grand Prix.

At the front of the grid, Max Verstappen claimed pole for the sprint race while McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashed out in the top 10 shootout.

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It was a miserable day for Ricciardo’s McLaren team.

The Aussie’s free practice session was ruined by a rear wing issue, while teammate Lando Norris was also fighting a braking issue.

It carried into qualifying with Ricciardo missing out in a spot on Q2 by just 0.02 seconds.

Norris will start from 15th.

When the bad news was given to Ricciardo on team radio at the end of Q1, the 33-year-old’s dejected response said it all.

“That’s P16, I’m afraid,” his race engineer said.

Ricciardo responded with a simple, “Yep, understood”.

He said after qualifying that his technical issues were not an excuse.

After so many poor performances this season, he may be running out of time, despite team boss Zak Brown confirming Ricciardo will see out his contract through to the end of 2023 — and won’t be sacked before then.

It would be comforting for Ricciardo to hear after another tough day at the office.

“Being out in Q1 is never nice, and not what we wanted here,” he told the team’s official website.

“We had a few things we had to solve after a disrupted FP1, but not enough to put us out in Q1, so I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We’re simply still a bit off the pace, and on such a short lap, with everything so close, it costs you. 30 milli-seconds would have put me in Q2, the margins are that small.

“The lap times are what they are. We’ve got to work on it now. We’ve got a long weekend ahead, so my focus moves to taking opportunities as they come. We’ll have a chance tomorrow in the Sprint to make up some spots and then a chance on Sunday where most of the points are handed out.

“We’ll look to the rest of the weekend and get after it to make it better.”

Despite the qualifying result both Norris and McLaren racing director Andrea Stella said they believe the car is good enough to be inside the top 10.

It was a crazy finish to qualifying on Saturday morning.

Verstappen pulled out a stunning lap in front of tens of thousands of his Dutch fans to grab the prime grid position by just 0.029sec from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

“It’s incredible to see the crowd here and see so much orange and the support I get now for a few years already here,” the Belgian-born Dutch world champion said.

“It definitely brings a smile on my face and I hope we can make it a great weekend.”

Carlos Sainz, fresh from his maiden win at Silverstone last weekend, was third in the other Ferrari with less than a tenth of a second covering the top three.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez took fourth, but the Mexican was demoted to 13th for breaking track limits in the second qualifying session.

Mercedes had approached this weekend in confident mood after a strong performance at Silverstone but it all came undone in Q3.

Hamilton made a rare mistake to smash into the barrier at turn seven on a fast lap with five and a half minutes of Q3 left.

He was soon out of his car, walking back to the pits.

“It was a big hit, but I’m okay,” he said later.

“Incredibly disappointed in myself and so sorry to the team who worked so hard to put this car together — I never like to damage it,” Hamilton added.

“We were fighting for a top three, I think. I don’t have an answer for it.”

After a red flag period as the mashed-up Mercedes was lifted off the circuit, the session restarted.

But not for long, as Russell then exited stage left, at turn 10, to leave Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff staring bleakly at his TV monitor.

With eight cars left to battle it out for pole Verstappen took the honours.

Austrian Grand Prix qualifying result, sprint race grid

Max Verstappen, (Red Bull), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

2nd row Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), George Russell (Mercedes)

3rd row Esteban Ocon (Alpine-Renault), Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

4th row Mick Schumacher (Haas), Fernando Alonso (Alpine-Renault)

5th row Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

6th row Alexander Albon (Williams), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

7th row Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

8th row Lando Norris, (McLaren), Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

9th row Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)

10th row Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

+ Perez qualified in fourth but was demoted to 13th after breaking track restrictions in second qualifying.

— with AFP

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