Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he was left thirsty during an energy-sapping Miami Grand Prix in order for McLaren to save weight.
Run in swelteringly hot conditions, with air temperatures of over 30C and the track temp considerably higher, the inaugural race around the Hard Rock Stadium was a gruelling challenge for the drivers.
Many of have spoken about how arduous it was and former racer, now broadcaster, Martin Brundle said he thought some of the incidents that occurred late in the race had arisen due to drivers struggling with the physical demands.
A drinks bottle is a staple requirement in every race but especially one as taxing as Miami – and Ricciardo, who finished 13th, says his fluid had not been at full capacity as McLaren tried to limit the weight of his car.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 12, 2022
Asked if the conditions had been comparable to races such as Singapore and Malaysia, Ricciardo told Motorsport.com: “Yeah, it’s got that heat factor to it. It’s tough as well because everyone’s obviously fighting for that last bit of weight.
“So we don’t have the luxury of putting three litres in the drink system. So we have a little bit, and it’s never enough fluid. So naturally you’re gonna get dehydrated. And yeah, this heat was pretty real.
“They are the tough ones, obviously. Everyone obviously worked hard, it’s hot – drivers, mechanics, everyone’s feeling the heat.”
Finishing positions in Miami were initially the subject of some confusion from P9 downwards due to a somewhat chaotic end to the race involving incidents and penalties, applied both at the time and retrospectively.
One of the latter was issued to Ricciardo, for leaving the track and gaining an advantage during a tussle with Kevin Magnussen. That meant he finished 11th on the road, but the additional five seconds on his race time dropped him to 13th.
“Actually, when I crossed the line, I honestly thought I was 10th,” said the Australian. “It’s hard to know, obviously [there are] battles and cars going off here and there. I remember being side-by-side a few times with Haases, and it actually felt like we were having some good battles.
“I was kind of doing a calculation in my head thinking enough cars had kind of gone off, or I passed, to be somewhere inside the points.
“But we came up short. I don’t think there were any ‘what could have beens’. We were just not quick enough. We were just hanging on.”