Ricciardo left frustrated after qualifying sixth

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Daniel Ricciardo has made no secret of his frustration after qualifying in sixth place for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was less than 0.05 seconds away from third place on the grid, and was left ruing a scrappy final qualifying lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve today.

“I’m trying to cheer myself up,” he joked after qualifying. “I was a bit frustrated. Obviously when you’re less than half a tenth from three more positions up the grid that’s frustrating no matter what.

“It was scrappy. I lost quite a chunk in the second sector and I think here we struggled. Basically the super-soft has been a lot harder to turn on this year, and particularly around here, we basically needed a quick out lap, and we had to let a couple of quick guys through.

“There was a couple of guys in front as well, so basically it wasn’t a quick enough out lap, I think, and just tried to fight a bit too much with the car when the tires and everything wasn’t quite there to be fought with, and for that reason it was pretty scrappy.”

Ricciardo admitted that he had pushed too hard on his final lap, but he does remain hopeful of a good showing in the race tomorrow.

“I could see I was a bit down in the first sector, a bit slower,” he explained. “Then I was just trying to make up lost time, in the end losing myself more time. We’ve been a little bit weak across the chicanes, and sector two has got a couple of them. We were fighting the car quite a lot through there.

“I probably overstepped it, and sometimes have got to understand when to take a little step back. We do have to try. You can’t be too nice around here, you do have to take hold of it. I was probably just asking a bit too much from where the tire was for what I had. We’ll hopefully have a good one tomorrow.”

Ricciardo will certainly be in the hunt for his third straight podium finish this weekend, but he will face some stiff opposition from the two Williams drivers and world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel in the battle to be best of the rest behind Mercedes.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.