It’s been another tough weekend in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship for Daniel Ricciardo, who ended the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix at Losail International Circuit without any points.
The Australian’s weekend hit a roadblock during qualifying, making a shock exit in Q2, ending the session in P14 behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
It didn’t get much better when the race started as Ricciardo lost two places on the opening lap and lost touch with Leclerc who enjoyed a good start himself.
Ricciardo then turned it around and looked on track to claim a handful of championship points, however after his first pit stop, it emerged that his McLaren had a fuel problem – restricting his pace and undoing his good work from the opening stint.
The 32-year-old then spent the remainder of the race trying to make up some more ground on the top 10, but he could only get as high as P12 where he finished for the second time in three weeks.
It’s now been three consecutive pointless rounds for Ricciardo, who couldn’t explain his car’s performance issues.
“Unfortunately, a pretty disappointing end to the triple-header today,” Ricciardo said post-race.
“We ran into some issues with fuel, and we had to save which dictated our race. So, not sure what happened but we obviously need to look into it.
“I’m looking forward to moving on. I think a weekend off is necessary for everyone involved.
“We’ll debrief now, try to understand the issues today and then we’ve got some time next week to get ready for the last two. Let’s finish strong.”
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has continued his charge for an eighth Formula 1 championship title with a dominant lights to flag victory.
The Brit was in a league of his own as title rival Max Verstappen was handed a post-qualifying five-place grid penalty and couldn’t better the pace of the Mercedes driver throughout the outing, but still managed to finish second and claim the bonus fastest lap point.
A brilliant start from Hamilton turned into a faultless drive as he crossed the finish line 25 seconds ahead of Verstappen and reduced the Dutchman’s lead in the Championship to just eight points with two races to go.
Rounding out the podium for the first time this seven years was Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. The veteran produced a brilliant drive, which involved an entertaining duel with Sergio Perez.
After completing the third and final triple-header for the season, the Formula 1 Championship now has a one-week break before heading to Jeddah for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on 5 December.