‘Confused’ Ricciardo Struggling to Accept Huge Gap to Norris in Qualifying

Published 05/23/2021, 9:11 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 29, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


Daniel Ricciardo cannot seem to find his rhythm at this season. After another disappointing Saturday, Ricciardo finished P12 in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

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Many thought that the Monaco Grand Prix would bring a change in his fortunes this season. However, he finished more than a second behind his teammate, Lando Norris. The Australian summed up his emotions after a disappointing Saturday in the Principality.

Daniel Ricciardo “refuses to believe” he’s a second slower than Norris

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Coming to a new team is never easy. At the moment, it is far from easy if your name is Daniel Ricciardo. A past race winner in Monaco, no one expected the Australian to get eliminated after Q2 on Saturday. However, Norris has got the better of Ricciardo across all races so far.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo before practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Ricciardo‘s current run of form puzzles him greatly. However, the part that confuses him the most is the gap between him and Norris.

“I’m probably confused than frustrated,” said Ricciardo. “Obviously I’ve been around here with Max [Verstappen as teammate] and I’m sure Lando’s fast, but I refuse to believe he’s a second quicker around here, and I don’t mean to say that against him.”

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Ricciardo believes he can’t use under-confidence as an excuse this time

At the Spanish Grand Prix, Ricciardo admitted he was still trying to feel confident in the car. However, the Honey Badger admits that he cannot use the same reason for his pace in Monaco.

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Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

The 31-year-old said, “I’d like to say I’m just not confident or still need to learn the car but not a second, not around here.

“But just all weekend, even crossing the line a lot of laps I felt good, I was like that’s a good lap. And I think at one point I was 1.2s slower than say what Lando had just done, so no answers at the moment.”

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With the Monaco Grand Prix already underway, Ricciardo will hope to make some good moves to move up the grid. Can a points-finish today help the “king of the late brakers” get his confidence back this season?

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Sanket Nair

130 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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