Daniel Ricciardo’s nightmare season has only gotten worse, with the Australian finishing 15th in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.
Despite starting in 10th position on the starting grid and spinning on Lap 40, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won his eighth race of the season to extend his lead in the drivers’ standings ahead of the mid-season.
It was a remarkable day for Verstappen, but the same certainly couldn’t be said for his former teammate Ricciardo.
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The McLaren driver was on track for a potential points finish before a collision with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll on Lap 48 ruined his race.
Ricciardo and Stroll were battling for position before the 33-year-old’s tires locked up and he understeered into Stroll as they went around the outside of Turn 2.
The Canadian spun around and Ricciardo was handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision.
Nothing went right for Ricciardo after the incident, slowly slipping down the order on the slower, hard tyres.
He was overtaken by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda before eventually finishing 15th, behind Haas’ Mick Schumacher.
Earlier in the Grand Prix, Ricciardo was celebrating a stunning double overtake that elevated him into the points.
The Australian, who started ninth on the grid, was down in 12th following an early pit stop, but managed to swoop past both Alpine drivers in a matter of seconds on Lap 24.
While Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were skirmishing on Turn 2, Ricciardo went wide and slipped down the inside on the next corner.
It was arguably his best moment of the season to date.
“Let’s f***ing go,” the Perth driver yelled on the team radio.
There were few scary moments throughout Sunday’s race — AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda went for a spin on Lap 35, while Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas retired on the penultimate lap, forcing a late virtual safety car.
Rain also started falling on the track with a couple of minutes remaining, meaning Verstappen had to tip-toe his way towards the finish line.
But the reigning world champion kept his composure and got the job done, winning his eighth race of the season and 28th of his career.
“I was at first hoping that I could get close to a podium, but very tricky conditions out there but we had a really good strategy,” Verstappen said.
“We were really reactive and always pitting at the right time, I thought we had some good out laps, and at the end – even with the 360 – we won the race.
“It was a crazy race and I’m of course very happy that we won it.”
The F1 season will resume at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, August 28.