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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Daniel Ricciardo to start last at Miami Grand Prix after rollercoaster qualifying period; Max Verstappen claims pole

Daniel Ricciardo has gone from zero to hero in the qualifying period at the Miami Grand Prix, recording his best finish in any Formula 1 race since 2021 in the process.

The 34-year-old finished in the top-four for the first time in three years in Miami in the sprint race on Sunday morning (AEST), but dropped well back in the field in qualifying.

Ricciardo started in fourth spot and many expected him to be run down by the drivers behind him, but the Australian star held off Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz with sublime defense.

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He moved into third spot at one stage, before Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took over – but it was still a banner moment for the Perth product.

“Let’s f—–g go,” he said on Sky Sports F1.

“Every big result always feels like it is a needed one, it is a happy feeling, it is a powerful feeling. “Also to back up yesterday, qualifying was great but to back it up over the course of a sprint race is even more satisfying.

“It is very good and it is also nice to keep a few people quiet.”

Unfortunately, his heroics on the track didn’t last long, with Ricciardo dropping all the way back to 18th spot on the grid at the conclusion of qualifying, claiming that he “had no near” during the horror slide.

Sky Sports commentators also described it as a “rude awakening” for the former Red Bull driver after his earlier sprint race masterclass, with Anthony Davidson describing his vehicle as a “rally car”.

Ricciardo is provisionally slated to start last on the course due to a grid penalty from the Chinese Grand Prix, where he decided to re-overtake Nico Hulkenberg under the safety car and drew the ire of the F1 stewards.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start in pole position ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, while Aussie rising star Oscar Piastri finished sixth in qualifying for McLaren.

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