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Saturday was a tale of two sessions for Daniel Ricciardo at the Miami Grand Prix

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MIAMI — It was certainly a tale of two sessions for Daniel Ricciardo Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Australian driver and fan favorite turned in a massive performance in Saturday’s F1 Sprint Race, following up his P4 in Sprint Qualifying Friday afternoon with a fourth-place finish, securing his first points of the season. Not only was the result impressive for Ricciardo, but it was how the driver delivered it, as he held off a charging duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Oscar Piastri in the closing laps to give Visa Cash App RB F1 Team their best result of the Formula 1 season.

And you could see the relief from Ricciardo after the session, as he lingered in the TV media pen as long as he could, speaking with every outlet and soaking in the moment.

Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session for the Miami Grand Prix was a much different story, that could be summed up in his initial comment to the assembled written media:

“Disclaimer, let’s talk about the Sprint Race,” joked the driver to the media members, including SB Nation.

Ricciardo failed to advance out of Q1, qualifying in P18. When you factor in the three-place grid penalty that will be applied at the start, due to an incident in the Chinese Grand Prix, that means Ricciardo will be starting Sunday’s main event at the back of the pack.

“I feel like, it was one of those ones that was just … I don’t think we could have done anything. I didn’t have the grip starting the lap,” described Ricciardo. “I genuinely felt like Lando [Norris] in SQ3 [Saturday]. I don’t know what he said afterwards, but he was pretty much a second slower and you could see him sliding on the exit of Turn 1 and it was a mess and it’s honestly how I felt.”

Over the course of his media session, Ricciardo took something of a philosophical tone.

“Obviously today was this morning was great. And I told the team, ‘[l]et’s enjoy this for 30 minutes, you know, make sure that we don’t kind of forget about it.’ Because, you know, obviously I did not expect this, but you never know.

“The sport is … it’s a very interesting sport, and it can obviously change very quickly.”

Ricciardo also admitted to taking some joy with the Sprint Race earlier in the day.

“It’s so nice to fight at the front, of course. But then to be, just holding off what we know are faster cars it feels like … yeah, it’s a statement and it’s nice,” said Ricciardo. “Nice to have that dog in me.

“A lot of people like to talk shit so it’s nice to hold a couple of middle fingers up, subtly.”

There is that dog, indeed.


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