Daniel Ricciardo has suffered another dour moment during a wet and wild Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.
The race was marred by a damning incident in the opening laps when the race was red flagged after Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz crashed after sliding across the track due to the excessive water.
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AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was left fuming when he whizzed past a tractor that was on the track prior to the red flags being waved.
The incident drew widespread backlash from drivers and journalists as the footage was broken down as the race was called off to wait for the weather to clear up.
After what felt like an eternity the cars went back out onto the track and despite some backmarkers saying the visibility was poor, the green light was given.
Max Verstappen romped away to claim a comprehensive victory and in shambolic scenes, was announced as the 2022 World Champion.
But as all the chaos was unfolding, Ricciardo was left plodding along in the latest race that didn’t go the Aussie’s way.
A stunning start on the opening lap of the race saw Ricciardo jump up into eighth on the grid, but it was in the race restart when things went south for the McLaren driver.
With conditions clearing up drivers dove into the pits to change from the wet tyres onto the intermediates.
McLaren pitted Lando Norris after one lap but opted to keep Ricciardo out as the race leaders pulled into pitlane.
Ricciardo jumped up into second spot on the standings, but the decision to not bring him in when six drivers ahead of him changed ultimately cost him dearly.
The Aussie was called into the pits on the next lap but rejoined the track in 1tth position. Losing seven places.
The shambolic decision to not pit Ricciardo the lap after Norris just adds to the nightmare run the Aussie has endured in 2022.
Through 18 races in his second season with the Woking-based outfit, Ricciardo has recorded points finishes in only five races.
He secured a season best fifth placed finish at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, but on Sunday in Japan the team’s gamble cost Ricciardo.
Ricciardo dropped a bomb on Saturday when he announced he wouldn’t be on the grid in 2023, turning his back on the remaining seats at Haas and Williams.
“I think the reality is now I won‘t be on the grid in 2023,” he told reporters after the qualifying session at the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday.
“I think it’s now just trying to set up for 2024.
“I think that there could be some better opportunities then, so that‘s really what all this confirms and now where the sights are set.
“To be honest, the Gasly news I was aware of. I knew they were they were talking for a while and I knew though they were very interested in Pierre.
“Let‘s say I was prepared for that and (it was) no surprise, so we were trying to navigate our way around that and figure out what was next.”