Formula One 2021 season got off to a thrilling start in Bahrain on Sunday. It was a common sight on the podium with Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas emerging as the top 3. On the other hand, the season opener also witnessed some highly-anticipated debuts of some racing stars for their new teams. While Red Bull’s Sergio Perez impressed with a P5 finish, Alpha Tauri’s rookie Yuki Tsunoda emerged in 9th position. However, there was one driver who had a slightly disappointing race as compared to other debutants.
A rather disappointing debut for Daniel
Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo made his much-awaited debut for McLaren this weekend. After qualifying in P6, one position ahead of his teammate Lando Norris, he was expected to be the faster among the both of them during the race. However, it was not the case as Ricciardo ended the race at 7th place while Norris finished at an impressive 4th position.
It was a rather disappointing result for the fans of Daniel who were expecting a better start to his career at McLaren. Reflecting on his race, the 31-year-old said, “I didn’t have enough pace today to run with the first few guys.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 28, 2021
What happened to Ricciardo?
Post the race, there were lot of discussions about the performance of new McLaren boy. While some thought that he struggled adjusting in a new car, others opined that Lando outpaced him during the race. However, the actual reason behind the whole situation has now been revealed. As reported by RacingNews365, the McLaren Boss revealed that Daniel drove the whole race with a damaged car, after colliding with Pierre Gasly during as early as lap 4.
McLaren say that the floor of Daniel Ricciardo's car suffered damage in the impact with Pierre Gasly's Alpha Tauri at the safety-car restart. This "cost a considerable amount of downforce," team principal Andreas Seidl said. "Daniel used his experience to cope with the issues."
— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) March 30, 2021
Andreas Seidl said, “Post-race, we found damage to Daniel’s floor from the impact of Pierre running into the back of his car at the beginning of the race. The level of damage cost a considerable amount of downforce. Despite the performance loss, Daniel used his experience to cope with the issues and score important points for the team. We now look forward to the next race.”
This is surely going to delight the Daniel’s fans as better things can be expected of him in future races. On the other hand, McLaren would also be hoping to emerge as the fastest constructor after Mercedes and Red Bull. It is going to be an exciting battle with Ferrari and Aston Martin also posing a huge challenge. Some of the questions will be answered when the action shifts to Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on April 18.