Italian Grand Prix 2022: Daniel Ricciardo robbed of points finish by oil leak video, F1 news
Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo was less than six laps away from clinching a points finish in the Italian Grand Prix before engine failure robbed the 33-year-old of a much-needed morale boost.
Ricciardo’s McLaren sat idle on the edge of the Monza track for the final stages of Sunday evening’s race due to an oil leak, forcing the event to end behind a safety car in anticlimactic scenes.
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Because Ricciardo’s car was stuck in gear, stewards were unable to quickly remove the stranded McLaren from the side of the track.
“I felt like I was doing a good job to hold off (Pierre) Gasly but didn’t have much more to show than that,” Ricciardo told reporters after the race.
“It was a busy race, trying to hold on, do what I could and then yeah, felt like we got a little bit of a rhythm on the hards (tyres) with 10-15 laps to go but then the engine just switched off out of turn six.
“I had to pull over straight away because it was stuck in gear and so I couldn’t roll to a safe place. It would have been nice to get some points, but it wasn’t meant to be today.”
McLaren team principal told Speedcafe.com: “Daniel commented on the radio that he lost the engine and it looks like that we had an oil leak, but what exactly the root cause of the oil leak (is) something we need to analyse once the car is back.
“It is obviously very unfortunate for Daniel, for us, that after a strong weekend on his side of the garage, the strong race today, that ultimately we couldn’t score the points that he deserves this weekend.”
It continues a bizarre trend in the Italian Grand Prix, where the previous year’s victor does not finish the race.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fell victim the curse in 2020 before AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly suffered the same fate the following year.
McLaren are desperate to close the gap on Alpine on the constructors’ championship, and Ricciardo’s DNF comes as an untimely setback for the Woking-based team in a race where their rivals didn’t score any points.
Lando Norris mustered a P7 finish after a superb drive in Monza, meaning McLaren sits just 18 points behind their biggest rivals after 16 races.
Earlier this year, McLaren cut ties with Ricciardo with 12 months remaining on his contract after a horror start to his 2022 campaign.
The Perth driver is reeling down in 14th on the drivers’ standings with 19 points, and currently finds himself without a seat on the F1 grid next year.
But there was a glimmer of hope for Ricciardo heading into Sunday’s race – after nearly half of his rivals copped grid penalties due to engine changes, the Honey Badger started the Italian Grand Prix in the second row of the grid alongside his teammate.
And Ricciardo drove commendably in Monza – after the faster cars inevitably passed the McLaren drivers, Norris and Ricciardo seemed destined for a points finish.
That is, until disaster struck on the 47th lap.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen showed once again that he‘s a serious level above the field as he stormed away to win the Italian Grand Prix.
The championship leader started from seventh on the grid after taking a five-place grid penalty, but made light work of the field as he jumped four places on the opening lap.
“It was unfortunate, everyone wants to finish under a green flag, but unfortunately we were short of laps,” Verstappen told reporters after the race.
“But I had new softs so I wasn’t too worried.”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc continued: “The end was frustrating, I wish could have had a bit of racing at the end, unfortunately we were second because of what happened before.
“It was a bit unfortunate because in the middle of the pit lane we have the virtual safety car ending so we didn’t have any of the benefit of stopping at that moment and from that moment we were on the back foot.”
Italian Grand Prix 2022 results
1. Max Verstappen
2. Charles Leclerc
3. George Russell
4. Carlos Sainz
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Sergio Perez
7. Lando Norris
8. Pierre Gasly
9. Nyck De Vries
10. Zhou Guanyu
11. Esteban Ocon
12. Mick Schumacher
13. Valtteri Bottas
14. Yuki Tsunoda
15. Nicholas Latifi
16. Kevin Magnussen
DNF: Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel
– with James McKern