Daniel Ricciardo crashes out of Sukuka GP as horror run continues

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Daniel Ricciardo’s nightmare 2024 Formula 1 season has hit a fresh low.

The veteran Australian was desperate for a good weekend at the Suzuka Grand Prix as he faces increasing pressure to retain his seat with the Red Bull back-up team, Visa Cash App RB.

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After failing to secure any points through the first three races, 34-year-old Ricciardo knew he needed a solid result in Japan to quieten the doubts rising around him.

Instead, his race lasted barely 20 seconds before he collided with Williams driver Alex Albon on Turn 2 and slammed into the barriers, ending his race terribly early.

Replays showed Ricciardo went to adjust to the racing line after seeing the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll on his inside, but didn’t see the Williams of Albon had snuck up on his outside.

“Two cars out of this race already, we often get contact at Turn 2 and it’s happened again,” Croft said as the cars slid into the tyre wall.

“(Alex) Albon says he’s OK, that’s really good to hear, we can see Daniel Ricciardo’s OK.

“It was a slow getaway from Daniel Ricciardo. It was a tag from behind, just the merest of contact.”

Fellow commentator Anthony Davidson felt neither driver was at fault as a red flag came out.

“(Albon) got himself in a risky position just from being on the outside of the track,” Davidson said.

“For me that’s just a racing incident, wrong place, wrong time.

“It wasn’t Albon’s fault, it wasn’t Ricciardo’s fault, it’s a racing incident.”

Albon said straight after the incident Ricciardo had closed him off.

“He just squeezed me,” Albon said over radio. “Nowhere to go.”

Croft then made the comment that many Aussie race fans must have been feeling as they watched the West Australian crash out so early in the crunch Grand Prix.

“A penny for the thoughts of Daniel Ricciardo, who needed a clean weekend, wanted a clean weekend, and sadly for him has not go this,” he said.

There was a mix of fallout on social media over the incident that has made the Australian’s task that much harder.

“Ricciardo should just retire at this point. It’s getting embarrassing,” was one comment.

“Damn!! Daniel Ricciardo is having a bad bad season,” wrote another.

“If anyone is to blame it’s Ricciardo. He had plenty of space on his left to avoid the collision.

“Hopefully this will be another nail in Ricciardo’s coffin and they give a young driver a chance, he doesn’t deserve the seat being so washed.”

“Remember when fans wanted Ricciardo to replace Checo for next season?” asked another.

Ricciardo was being linked with a possible return to Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen in 2025, but that now looks an incredibly unlikely dream.

Some fans were also calling for Ricciardo to make way for young gun and RB back-up driver Liam Lawson.

“Daniel Ricciardo needs to be replaced by Liam Lawson,” was one comment on X.

“Goodbye Daniel Ricciardo … hello Liam Lawson,” added a second.

Pole sitter Max Verstappen is leading the race in his Red Bull through 39 laps, ahead of Perez, with Australian Oscar Piastri currently eighth for McLaren.

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