The Significance Of The Austrian Grand Prix To Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

Much of what is known about Daniel Ricciardo at the moment is that he seems to be carrying a chip on his shoulder. Endless Formula 1 reports, some that happen prior and others that strike post a Grand Prix, have reported that 2024 could be his final year in the sport.

That is when nothing being ever certain in F1 is perhaps the greatest certainty of the sport. At the same time, that the Daniel Ricciardo we are seeing is struggling in terms of performance across different circuits is something that is not hard to see or note.

Having said that, while it is easy to lament a driver whose best days seemingly (now) belong to the past, it is also just as easy to undermine a fact. And it’s that where the last two F1 races are concerned, then it’s not that Daniel Ricciardo didn’t make an effort.

Not only did the famed Australian driver open his account with a gutsy, if also surprising, P8 at Canada; he also finished ahead of Tsunoda for a second consecutive occasion at Spain. Even as he failed to score any points as seen at Barcelona recently, Daniel Ricciardo finished with a fifteenth at Catalunya; his younger teammate was toddling down in nineteenth.

So there’s been some effort that the under-pressure Australian has apparently shown. However, where it comes to Austria, F1’s next halt, then the Australian is at the cusp of marking a significant milestone in his career. Something that could, in fact, transpire at the venue!

It’s significant in the respect of its statistical density. All that Daniel Ricciardo needs to do is to start or commence racing come the second of F1’s triple headers this weekend and he would have recorded his 250th F1 start.

250 is quite a number. It points to the dense racing experience possessed by the man who has enjoyed his time in the top flight of Motor racing. And in a sense, it also points to the fact that besides Fernando Alonso, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and Sergio Pérez, Daniel Ricciardo is the fourth-most experienced racing driver in terms of the current lot on the grid.

The present-day F1 grid is one that consists of flair and exuberance and with that, tons of nerves of steel. This could be said about drivers such as Piastri and Norris and not to forget, Russell and Leclerc. Four of the 20 current drivers are the talents in whose hands rests the enormous responsibility of authoring a new era for Formula 1.

However, speaking of responsibility, it could be argued that Daniel would be acting responsible for himself if he was to extract another point scoring opportunity and find a fighting finish at Spielberg, which is home to the Red Bull team and a track where Toto Wolff was once a driving instructor.

That he can perform well at the said venue is never of much doubt; Ricciardo has scored a podium in Austria albeit seven years back in the day with Red Bull in 2017. But it’s the question of if he can come close to scoring some fine points this weekend.

That, particularly speaking, will be playing on the mind of a driver who we know is supremely talented and has been seen defying expectations when he was paired with a very competitive car.

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has scored a podium at Austria back in the day

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