Daniel Ricciardo’s woes continue in Japan as a puzzling radio message surfaces after a qualifying setback

Daniel Ricciardo’s frustrations continue after he was beaten by teammate Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The 34-year-old has not lost the sport’s biggest smile despite his puzzling struggles in his RB during the opening race of the season in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and at home in Australia.

He has been consistently outpaced by his Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda and has not finished higher than 12th in three races, prompting comparisons with his previous disappointing spell at McLaren.

The Aussie was eyeing a possible Q3 appearance, which would have been his first since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix, but Tsunoda had other ideas and pushed himself into the top 10 at the end of Q2, eliminating Ricciardo with his deficit on Tsunoda. only 0.055s.

Ricciardo’s engineer Pierre Hamelin then took to the team radio to deliver the news to the Australian in a strange manner.

Daniel Ricciardo’s frustrations continued as he once again failed to make it into Q3

The Australian received a backhanded compliment from his engineer on the radio afterwards

The Australian received a backhanded compliment from his engineer on the radio afterwards

“Okay Daniel, I know you always have to do a little better, but you should be satisfied. We are in a good place,” Hamelen said.

Ricciardo replied sternly: ‘Yes, obviously I don’t, but I appreciate that we did well’

Hamelin ended with, “Yes, let’s focus on the positive.”

Commentator and former driver Alice Powell thought it was ‘a strange compliment’, while F1 journalist Andrew Benson said he could understand how the way the message was conveyed could frustrate Ricciardo.

“I think the engineer means well,” Benson suggested, “it’s not what the driver wants to hear.” You were beaten by your teammate, but you can be satisfied because before you were really rubbish.’

Powell confirmed that she would have taken the message the same way.

“Yes, that’s what I was getting at,” she said in response to Benson, “that’s how I would have heard it, that’s how I heard it.”

However, at Suzuka for this weekend’s fourth round, Ricciardo was keen to point out that this is not another ‘McLaren situation’ and that he is close to another big breakthrough.

Ricciardo is confident he can turn his F1 season around in Japan on Sunday

Ricciardo is confident he can turn his F1 season around in Japan on Sunday

“It’s funny because on paper it wasn’t good – and of course I know the results are not what I wanted,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“But personally the confidence and the happiness and all that is basically unchanged, so now it’s really just a matter of getting a result and putting a few things to rest.

“Where I am personally, I feel very good and that’s why it was probably a bit strange to understand why the result hasn’t been achieved yet.

‘It’s been three races, but I know I don’t have to change anything, it will happen. It’s just a little bit here and there.

“What might be missing right now will click, and I think it’s still a weekend away.

‘Even in Melbourne (at the Australian GP), where on paper I was of course disappointed with the weekend (after finishing twelfth) and not getting any points, when we analyzed the race a bit it wasn’t as sad as it probably was’ looked.

“We had good race pace, there are some good things we are working on, and we just have to get it together now. And I will.

“I said I would do it in Melbourne but I came up short. But I’m going to do it this weekend.’