Ricciardo stars once more, from pit lane to fourth in Abu Dhabi


Daniel Ricciardo has capped off his career season of Formula One in absolute style, with a run from the pit lane up to fourth in today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Granted, this isn’t the best pit lane to ultimate final result run in Red Bull’s Abu Dhabi resume – Sebastian Vettel did the trick from last to a podium in 2012 – but consider the Red Bull is perhaps only the third best chassis in the field and that makes Ricciardo’s result this Sunday all the more remarkable.

Both drivers started from the pit lane after they were disqualified post-qualifying for a front wing infraction. Coincidentally, this makes for an odd book-end of DQs for Ricciardo, who was also disqualified from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix for a fuel irregularity.

No matter though. The pair started on the prime tires and quickly made it into the top 10 in the opening laps, with Ricciardo then into the top five past Lap 22 thanks to this strategy.

Ricciardo quickly became embroiled in a battle over fourth with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, and Bottas eventually got through.

Still the strategy paid dividends because even once Ricciardo finally stopped for the first time, he only dropped to sixth. He was quickly back around Sergio Perez’s Force India several laps later, and was setting the fast race lap lap after lap on the options.

With Nico Rosberg out of the way due to his ERS issue, Ricciardo and Bottas were ultimately the protagonists for the final podium position. Bottas prevailed, but Ricciardo had still turned in a stellar drive for his 13th top-five finish of the season.

“Yeah really happy, I think it was pretty much a faultless race from all sides, from the strategy, to myself and the pit stops, everything was good so we did everything we needed to,” Ricciardo said. “I had fun passing, it wasn’t boring out there, so it was pretty much what I asked for. One spot better would have been nice, but fourth is really cool from the pit lane.”

He ends the year third in the World Championship, and the only driver outside the pair of Mercedes teammates to have won a race – Ricciardo took his first three wins of his F1 career in Montreal, Budapest and Spa.

“It’s been pretty much a perfect season, as perfect as it can be without holding a world title, so no real regrets, no complaints,” he said. “It’s nice to not only start the season well, but to finish it well also and I think all the way through it was good – we had a strong summer as well, so the start, middle and end were pretty good!”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”