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Ricciardo left feeling 'helpless' in 'painful' US Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo admitted his fate was sealed early on at Austin as his season went from bad to worse.

Daniel Ricciardo knew as early as Lap 8 that his United States Grand Prix would be "painful" as his struggles continue in 2022. Ricciardo has been unable to match teammate Lando Norris in 2022 and has not been able to turn around his performances, with Oscar Piastri set to replace him at McLaren in 2023. The Australian was knocked out of qualifying in Q1 and lined up 16th at Austin, with Norris inside the top 10 on the grid. The Briton finished a strong sixth, while Ricciardo could only manage 16th, nearly a lap behind race winner Max Verstappen. Post-race, a dejected Ricciardo was just pleased that the event was over.

Ricciardo reflects on struggles

"I'm smiling because we're nearly done, [it was] painful for sure," Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com. "It was one of those where I'm like: 'Yeah, it happened.' "All too often this year, early in the race, I know like Lap 8 or Lap 10 how the rest of the day is going to go. "You can just feel and also see what the other cars around can do and simply what I am not able to do. If I knew [what the problem was] then the year would have been going better. "But it's not three or four tenths – even that is massive – like I remember when I was [teammates] with Max [in 2016-2018], if I was three or four tenths behind, I'd be throwing things around my room. "But I am seconds off and it feels so far off. It is bizarre."

Consistency lacking

"I know in terms of what I can't do, but I think it shows in the consistency," he explained. 'I'll do a green lap – so personal bests – but then the next lap is three or four tenths slower. My best lap is not competitive, but I can't even just hold it. "Last year was a struggle, but now I look back at last year, I'm like: 'Oh, that was actually pretty good compared to this one.' "I'm choosing to laugh because I don't really want to cry. "I'm still going to do what I can in the last three races, but I'm at a point now where I'm not going to hope or think or expect anything. "It is going to be an amazing last few races, I'll do what I can but days like today kind of leave you feeling a bit helpless."

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