Amidst Scrutiny Over Poor Performance, Daniel Ricciardo Admits Not Giving Enough Room to Alex Albon in Japan – “I Didn’t See Him”

Amidst Scrutiny Over Poor Performance, Daniel Ricciardo Admits Not Giving Enough Room to Alex Albon in Japan - “I Didn’t See Him”
IMAGO / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo’s start to the season has been woeful and things turned from bad to worse in Japan, when he crashed out of the opening lap of the race. The Australian driver is now under even more pressure to perform, and accepts that his mistake ruined both his and Albon’s outing in Suzuka.

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The traction was so much better on the softs that he [Albon] thought there was room, but there wasn’t, so I didn’t see him,” said the Honey Badger to  MotorsportWeek. His miscalculated move against Albon red-flagged the race immediately as well.

Ricciardo has also admitted that he never assumes the blind spot to be empty, that too in the first lap of the race. On the opening lap, cars scramble for traction and fight for places, which makes it even tougher to navigate through the field.

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Speaking about the same, he said, “To be honest, I always assume there’s someone there. It is the first lap so never try to use the full width of the track and not take anything into account. Anyway, I guess there just wasn’t enough room.”

Nonetheless, the 34-year-old does not want to give up. He doesn’t have a lot of time left to prove that he deserves to remain in the sport. Despite that, he won’t let negativity creep in and vows to work harder to get better results in the coming days.

Time is running out for Daniel Ricciardo

There are still 20 races remaining on the F1 calendar this year, but Red Bull could decide on Ricciardo’s future long before that. As per reports, the Red Bull fraternity will make some important calls by the summer break which puts the Honey Badger in a tricky situation.

Ricciardo hasn’t been able to justify his place in the team, whereas his teammate Yuki Tsunoda is doing wonders, to get himself linked to Red Bull. The young Japanese driver has been brilliant this season and claimed seven points already in four races.

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When the season started, Ricciardo was one of the frontrunners for Sergio Perez’s Red Bull seat. But now, he seems to be out of contention and is driving to save his future at V-CARB itself. Tsunoda meanwhile, could become an option for the Milton-Keynes-based outfit in case they look for a change in driver line-up.

Additionally, Red Bull kept Liam Lawson, their current reserve, waiting on the sidelines in favor of Ricciardo. If Ricciardo keeps underperforming, Lawson could end up replacing the Perth-born driver, once and for all.

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