Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his McLaren team limited the amount of water in his drinking bottle in the car in a desperate bid to save weight.
Most teams are believed to be using cars that exceed the minimum weight, following the introduction of new rules for 2022.
This resulted in extreme weight-saving measures, with a number of teams stripping paint from cars to reduce weight. Earlier this season, Aston Martin revealed it had saved 350 grams by using less paint, a significant amount in a sport where times are measured to the thousandth of a second.
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Many drivers looked exhausted at the end of last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, run in hot and humid Florida conditions.
Now Ricciardo has admitted he was forced to finish the race with less than the usual amount of fluid.
“We don’t have the luxury of putting three liters in the drinking system,” he told motorsport.com.
“So we have a bit of that, and it’s never watery enough. So naturally, you’re going to get dehydrated. And yeah, that heat was real enough.
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“It’s the tough ones, obviously. I mean everyone obviously worked hard, it’s hot, the drivers, the mechanics, everyone is feeling the heat.”
It was a disappointing weekend for Ricciardo’s McLaren team. Lando Norris failed to finish after a collision with Pierre Gasly, while the Australian crossed the line in 11th, only to be demoted to 13th by a post-race penalty.
It was the fourth time in five races this season that Ricciardo failed to score a world championship point, and he conceded he thought he was on course for a better result in Miami.
“Actually when I crossed the line I honestly thought I was 10th,” he said. “It’s hard to know, obviously [there are] battles and cars exploding here and there. But I was doing a math in my head thinking that enough cars had somehow blown up, or that I had passed them, to be somewhere in the points.”
Although he’s struggled so far in 2022, a closer look at his results reveals that it’s not as bad as it looks for the 32-year-old.
In Bahrain he finished ahead of Norris and would have done the same in Melbourne if the team had not asked him to stay on in the final stages.
Ricciardo’s race in Saudi Arabia ended with a mechanical problem beyond his control, while his last qualifying attempt in Miami was hampered by another car problem, compromising his weekend.
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