McLaren signed Daniel Ricciardo to replace outgoing driver Carlos Sainz. But maybe, they still miss the Spanish driver a little bit. At the Spanish Grand Prix, McLaren race engineer Tom Stallard referred to Ricciardo by the first name of their former driver. A slip of tongue no doubt, but a hilarious goof-up nonetheless.
Ricciardo was assigned Stallard, Sainz’s former engineer before he left for Ferrari. When the new signing was battling to climb up the standings, Stallard called him into the pits.
Clearly in a hurry to get things sorted, he muttered, “Carlos…umm box Daniel, box”. The Australian was on his second pit-stop and was alerted with just two turns left to pit entry. In the commotion, Stallard fumbled and mistakenly called Ricciardo by a different name.
The former Renault driver went on to finish sixth in the race, ahead of teammate Lando Norris for the first time this season. It was a very good drive from Ricciardo, and he bagged some crucial points for McLaren in the process.
Ricciardo accepts apology
At the end of the race, Stallard congratulated him on a phenomenal drive, but made sure to apologise to him for the slip. He said, “Yeah, sorry, a couple of those – I got frantic. I am not sure what names I was shouting at you, but…..the end result is still good.”
Ricciardo took it in sport and replied, “Yep, all good,” assuring Stallard that he wasn’t offended.
It is delightful to see that everything was sorted well between driver and engineer. A driver’s relationship with his race engineer is of paramount importance in Formula 1.
Good communication is important to ensure results. In a race where miscommunication between Max Verstappen and his engineer cost the driver a few seconds, we are glad Ricciardo didn’t let the incident affect him.