Daniel Ricciardo filthy as fairytale turns into Miami Grand Prix nightmare

Daniel Ricciardo will start the Miami Grand Prix from dead last.

The Australian’s fairytale turned into a nightmare on Sunday morning after earlier finishing the sprint race in P4 to pick up his first championship points of the year.

The fourth-placed finish was Ricciardo’s best race result since 2021.

After a stunning qualifying effort on Saturday (AEST), Ricciardo started fourth and was widely expected to be hunted down by those drivers starting behind him.

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However, he showed incredible class to hold off Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for more than half the race, earning a thumbs up from the Spaniard as they crossed the line.

His day was turned on its head two hours later when he bombed out spectacularly in the opening qualifying session.

Ricciardo finished P18 in Q1, more than 0.2 seconds away from progressing to Q2.

Carrying a three-placed grid penalty, Ricciardo will start P20 for Monday morning’s Miami Grand Prix.

The veteran driver was seething at the end of the session.

It didn’t help that his Visa Cash App RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda made it through to Q3 and qualified 10th.

Max Verstappen left it late to secure pole for the race, finishing 0.14 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz finished third.

Ricciardo’s final flying lap was compromised early when he missed the apex at Turn 8 and went wide.

“F***. I had no rear,” he said on team radio.

His complaints about the rear of his car were validated by Sky Sports analyst Anthony Davidson.

The English commentator said Ricciardo’s RB looked like a “rally car” without enough traction to hold the rear around corners.

Davidson showed the footage of Ricciardo’s lap and said Ricciardo lost further time when his car started to slide at Turn 17.

Sky Sports commentators also described it as a “rude awakening” for the former Red Bull driver after his earlier sprint race masterclass.

Miami GP qualifying result Top 10

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull

5) Lando Norris, McLaren

6) Oscar Piastri, McLaren

7) George Russell, Mercedes

8) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

9) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

10) Yuki Tsunoda, RB

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