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F1 2021, Spanish Grand Prix, results: Daniel Ricciardo flips script on Lando Norris at McLaren, position

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Daniel Ricciardo finally has reason to smile in the 2021 F1 season after recording his strongest race weekend for McLaren at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Australian claimed his joint-best finish of the year, holding off the faster Ferrari of Carlos Sainz to finish the race — won by Lewis Hamilton — in sixth.

While Ricciardo is still aiming for bigger things at McLaren, his impressive drive allowed him to flip the script on his teammate Lando Norris, who had been mounting pressure on the 31-year-old.

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BIG RICCIARDO LEAP AS CRYPTIC HAMILTON MESSAGE LEAVES MAX GUESSING AFTER HUGE GAMBLE

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Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix, qualifying, news, live, results, times, Daniel Ricciardo,

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Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo will start from 11th at the Hungarian Grand Prix after a hugely disappointing qualifying on Saturday night.

Ricciardo was a dismal 0.583 seconds behind McLaren teammate Lando Norris (seventh) in the first session of qualifying, only just scraping through to Q2 in a lowly 14th place. Despite significantly improving his time, Ricciardo missed out on the top-10 and a place in the third qualifying session by 0.077 seconds.

Ricciardo was eliminated in 11th, 0.486s behind Norris in second. After hearing the result on team radio, a resigned Ricciardo said simply: “Okay, alright, f**k.”

“It’s another really, really bad day for Daniel,” former world champion Nico Rosberg said in commentary.

A huge crash on Turn 11 for Haas driver Mick Schumacher in Practice 3 – just two hours before qualifying – ruled his damaged car out of the quali session, meaning he’ll line up last.

Carlos Sainz left his Ferrari looking less than fantastic.Source: Twitter

Then Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz suffered a massive blow with a big crash in Q2. Sainz had claimed an impressive fourth in Q1, behind only Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and the two Mercedes, and was looking very impressive. But after failing to post a time for Q2, he’ll start 15th.

It is a boost for Ricciardo, as Sainz sits one place above him in the F1 drivers’ championship – seventh to Ricciardo’s eighth.

Another driver to struggle in qualifying was George Russell, who failed to get his Williams into Q2 for the first time this season.

Schumacher’s damaged Haas towed back to the paddock after Practice 3.Source: Getty Images

PREVIEW

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the final practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday morning, ahead of the afternoon qualifying session.

The Mercedes driver, who is aiming for the 100th GP win of his career this weekend, was just 0.88 secs quicker than title rival Max Verstappen with Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas in third, 0.229 secs off the pace.

Ricciardo in practice.Source: Getty Images

Verstappen currently leads the title race, eight points ahead of Hamilton, who won the last event at Silverstone after the two collided on the first lap, resulting in a heavy crash for the Red Bull driver and a heightening of tensions between the teams.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc bounced back from some tepid performances on Friday to finish fourth and fifth on a course that is often compared with the tight lanes of Monaco, which has traditionally suited them.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was sixth ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, with Daniel Ricciardo in the other McLaren, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll completing the top 10.

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Hungary Grand Prix, news, Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, crash, feud, driver’s standings, Red Bull, Mercedes

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Max Verstappen remains unhappy with Lewis Hamilton despite clearing the air with the Briton during a phone call following their spectacular crash.

Dutchman Verstappen was taken to hospital as seven-time champion Hamilton closed the gap to eight points in the standings before this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver declined to go into any detail, adding instead he was more upset by the defending champion’s post-race celebrations.

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Lap 1: Lewis sends Max CRASHING OUT! | 01:37

“One guy is in hospital, the other guy is waving the flag around like nothing has happened while you pushed the guy into the wall with 51Gs,” he said.

“And not only that, just the whole reaction of the team. That’s not how you celebrate a win. Especially a win — how they got it.

“That’s what I found really disrespectful. In a way, it shows how they really are. It comes out after a pressure situation. I wouldn’t want to be seen like that.”

Mercedes ramped up the war of words with Formula One rivals Red Bull by accusing them of attempting to “tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton”.

The accusation came after Red Bull failed to win a review into the 10-second penalty handed to Hamilton for the world champion’s controversial collision with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.

“In addition to bringing this incident to a close we hope this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton,” said a Mercedes statement.

Hamilton said he would be ready to repeat his controversial pass on Verstappen which caused the championship leader to crash out of the British Grand Prix earlier this month.

“In terms of the move, I’d do it again exactly as I’ve done it in the past,” said Hamilton who can claim his 100th career win on Sunday.

“I think, growing up, wheel-to-wheel racing was always the best, from karting. The most exciting part of motor sport is when you see close racing.

“We’re now seeing two teams incredibly close on performance. And if there’s more people watching then that tells you all you need to know,” he added.

Verstappen wins first ever sprint race | 01:04

Mercedes’ Hamilton defended his reaction after the win while Red Bull’s mood was not improved when their bid to have a review of Hamilton’s 10-second penalty imposed for the crash was thrown out by race stewards.

“I don’t believe our behaviour was disrespectful. It’s one thing knowing and then celebrating what happened and there’s one thing not knowing and celebrating. Obviously I wasn’t aware,” Hamilton said.

“It was my home Grand Prix and we worked incredibly hard for who knows how long to get a result like that.

“Emotions were running high. It wasn’t an intentional celebration it was just the joy of seeing so many people and so many people celebrating, being together and that’s the natural emotion. I’m not going to hide my emotions. It was an amazing feeling,” he added.

Verstappen distanced himself from claims made by his team boss Christian Horner who accused seven-time champion Hamilton of “dirty driving”.

“That’s the first time I heard it like that. No, I think he just misjudged the moment in that corner.” Hamilton, 36, received a 10-second penalty for his role in the collision and Verstappen said it was too lenient.

“I don’t think the penalty was correct because basically you take out your main rival and, especially with the speed we have in our cars, we are miles ahead of, let’s say, the third-best team.

“We are easily 40, 50 seconds ahead in normal conditions. So, a 10 second penalty doesn’t do anything so definitely that penalty should have been more severe.”

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How much did Max Verstappen’s crash cost Red Bull, British GP

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner said Friday his team has been left with a bill for a whopping AUD$1.8 million to repair the damage to Max Verstappen’s car after the controversial collision with Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix.

Verstappen and seven-time world champion Hamilton clashed on the opening lap of last weekend’s race at Silverstone.

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The Dutchman was forced to retire and undergo a six-hour hospital check-up while Hamilton took victory to revive his title hopes.

“That crash has cost us approximately $1.8 million and an accident like that has massive ramifications in a budget cap era,” Horner wrote in a column on the team’s official website.

Horner was not happy with how Mercedes celebrated the win at Silverstone.Source: AFP

Horner also criticised Hamilton for his celebrations on the podium, a display already blasted as “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike” by Verstappen.

Even though Hamilton was handed a 10-second penalty, his victory allowed him to slash Verstappen’s lead in the championship from 33 points to just eight.

“I am also still disappointed about the level of celebrations enjoyed in the wake of the accident,” added Horner.

“The Mercedes team were aware of the gravity of the crash, with Max widely reported as having been hospitalised and requiring further checks.

“It is unimaginable not to inform your driver of the situation, moreover to protect your driver in case they do not show the necessary restraint in celebrating, particularly when it was as a result of an incident he was penalised for.”

Horner continued his criticism of Hamilton for his role in the first-lap crash.

“The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday,” he wrote.

Hamilton celebrated a win on home soil.Source: AFP

“I also felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ was unjustified.

“You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years.”

Hamilton and Verstappen will renew their rivalry at the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend.

Horner added: “I spoke to Max on Monday morning and he felt like he’d done a few rounds with (heavyweight boxer) Tyson Fury.

“He was battered and bruised but feeling lucky and grateful to the medical team, as we all are, and in true Max style he was already trying to put it out of his mind and look ahead to Hungary.”

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