Aero Chief Reveals Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren F1 Debut Could’ve Ended in Major Disappointment

Published 04/02/2021, 4:55 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during qualifying REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Daniel Ricciardo finished 7th in his debut race for McLaren. However, the Australian suffered some damage to the floor of his car owing to a collision with Pierre Gasly. The team’s aerodynamicist was surprised at how he could cope with the damage done to the car.

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In the 4th lap of the race, AlphaTauri’s Gasly was chasing down Ricciardo but took out his front wing while trying to overtake the Australian. This caused the McLaren driver to lose a significant amount of downforce over the course of the race.

The Honey Badger earned himself 6 points in his first day in McLaren’s overalls, while his teammate Lando Norris crossed the line with an impressive 4th placed finish. The Woking-based outfit, hope they can have an even better result in Imola for the Italian Grand Prix.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Daniel Ricciardo surprised the team’s aerodynamicist with how he managed to keep the pace

Ivan Roldan took to Twitter to share how surprised he was seeing the damage done to the car. He said, “I’ve seen the damage.

“And oh boy, truly impressed he could hang on to a decent pace. Over-the-roof skills to prevent that car from being all over the place.”

In the post-race interview, Ricciardo said, “Obviously it’s still new to me, so I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of homework for me to do personally to obviously keep getting better.

“I made plenty of notes through the race of what I [was feeling in] the car and where that was holding me back, so I’ll give feedback, I’m sure they’ll give feedback to me and we’ll come to Imola in better shape. But I think if seventh is a poor race, we’re looking alright!”

Seidl said the collision caused Ricciardo to lose pace

In the interview after the Bahrain Grand Prix. the team boss said, “Post-race, we found damage to Daniel’s floor from the impact of Pierre running into the back of his car at the beginning of the race.”

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

He added, “The level of damage cost a considerable amount of downforce. Despite the performance loss, Daniel used his experience to cope with the issues and score important points for the team. We now look forward to the next race.”

The 2nd round of the 2021 season is just weeks away. Will the Australian enjoy a better outing in Imola for the Italian Grand Prix? Will we see Ricciardo unleash his true pace around the circuit? Only time will tell.

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Arpit Gomes

331 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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