Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Some people wondered whether it was a good idea to extend Daniel Ricciardo’s contract to next year, given Liam Lawson’s brilliant performances while the Australian was in recovery after breaking his wrist earlier this year, shortly after replacing Nyck de Vries.

During Saturday’s qualifying session, Ricciardo stumped everyone when he made it all the way to Q3. And then Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull was once again questioned after Ricciardo managed to slap the AlphaTauri in fourth ahead of Perez in an RB19.

Ricciardo lost a few places and finished in seventh, less than a second behind George Russell’s Mercedes. Not only did he catch Russell, but if he had two or three more laps, he would have been battling him. The fact that an AlphaTauri was even in contention is a massive credit to Danny Ric’s driving, and his six points were well-earned.

Those six points were enough to promote AlphaTauri to eighth place in the constructors’ standings, which is worth roughly $20 million in prize money above Alfa Romeo in ninth. The car it started the season with was atrocious. A Honda Accord Hybrid could have lapped a circuit faster. But a few upgrades and two new drivers in, and it’s suddenly looking good.

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