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

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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!”

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change