Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo has been forced to clarify comments he made during the launch of Formula One’s 2022 car, where he appeared to describe the car as “s–t”.
The McLaren driver was unaware his microphone was live, when he said, “Yeah, no it’s terrible. It’s s–t, it’s worse.”
It’s not clear who he was talking to at the time.
“I was probably talking about something else because to be honest we were talking about quite a few things,” Ricciardo said later.
“To be honest I do not recall saying anything like that because I actually thought it was pretty cool. I wouldn’t have been that aggressive to it, maybe it was the paint scheme, but I wouldn’t have said that about it [the car].”
Ricciardo said the first he knew about the controversy was when it was raised with him after the conclusion of the event.
“I’m actually curious now,” Ricciardo said.
“Was I standing next to (teammate) Lando (Norris)? I don’t swear around Lando because he is still quite young. You have got me there.
“I will clarify that I definitely didn’t think it was s–t. I was actually quite okay with it and I think I mentioned something about liking the rear. Anyway there is no negativity around the new car here.”
During the official launch, the Australian was more complimentary about the 2022 car, which will be the first under new regulations designed to improve the racing.
“I like the rear of it,” he said. “The rear looks pretty old school, it reminds me of 2008, with that style, which is cool. The front is very different, but like all things, the more you stare at it, the more normal it will start to look.”
The car that was unveiled today is simply a guide to what fans can expect in 2022, with each team to design their own version.
Ricciardo’s teammate, Lando Norris, is hoping it’s a big step forward. The current generation of cars have been criticised for producing dull racing, with drivers not able to follow the car ahead closely enough to overtake.
Far too often a driver will complain that he loses aerodynamic grip at the front end when he is close to another car.
“As long as it’s good to drive, it’s a proper race car (and) we can have a lot of fun in it, that’s the main thing,” Norris said.
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