Toro Rosso

Italian Grand Prix | Daniel Ricciardo blog | Frustration!

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In his latest blog, Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo reveals his disappointment at having vital world championship points snatched away at the last in Monza...

On Sunday in Monza I finished the race punching the steering wheel. It wasn’t a good day. Nearly, but not quite.

I was running tenth on the last lap and in line to score a point but we didn’t quite make it to the line. We had a fuel pressure problem. That’s been misreported in a few places as meaning we ran out of fuel but that wasn’t the case. There was a failure somewhere in the system, and when I gassed it out of the final corner on the last lap, nothing happened.

It’s disappointing to have a good result snatched away at the last. A week earlier the team went wild when we bought the cars home in the points at Spa; I really wanted to be able to walk back into the garage after the race at Monza and get that pat on the back from everyone for a second week in a row. Actually, I did get a pat on the back – but there wasn’t much joy in it.  

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The problem didn’t come as a huge surprise. I’d felt it beginning with three laps to go. The team had sent out a few instructions, telling me what to do to give us the best chance of nursing it home. By the final lap I was having a few misfires but hoping it would hold together long enough to get me over the line. I could see Senna closing all the time though. When I got to Parabolica I thought we might make it, but as soon as I downshifted and got back on the throttle, there wasn’t any response.

And so the Italian Grand Prix ended with me taking it out on the steering wheel with my fists and yelling a few obscenities over the radio. I wasn’t in the best of moods afterwards but F1 doesn’t really let you hide in a corner and have a good sulk, so it was back to my room in the Energy Station, change out of my race suit, let the adrenaline dissipate a bit and then go out to face the music. No point having a long face.

For 52 laps the Italian Grand Prix was pretty good. Physically it’s one of the easier races because if you need a breather, there’s plenty of long straights where you can take one. In itself that can be a bit of a problem because it isn’t a circuit where you want to lose focus. You’re coming into some very heavy braking zones at very high speed and you can’t afford to lock a brake or lose time by braking too early. You have to be very switched on.  

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This year focus wasn’t a problem because there were plenty of cars around me for most of the race, and that really helps concentrate the mind. From the cockpit it’s also far more exciting to be racing wheel to wheel with other drivers. Frankly, it’s why we race.

Singapore is next up, which means we’re going from physically one of the easiest circuits to one of the hardest. I’ve been back to the UK in the simulator this week and doing some light training. Singapore is a tricky balance because you want to go there properly prepared but at the same time you don’t want to sap too much energy with a heavy training schedule beforehand.

Not sure if I’m due some good luck to balance out the bad – but I’ll certainly take any that’s going.  

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