Daniel Ricciardo Admits to Uncertainty Over Burning Question on McLaren F1 Form

Published 04/12/2021, 1:35 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Switching teams is never easy for an F1 driver. It is because extracting the best performance out of oneself requires a driver to get accustomed to his car. This is something that Daniel Ricciardo does not underestimate.

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Daniel Ricciardo is not new to a change of teams, having moved from the comfort bubble of Red Bull to Renault at the end of the 2018 season. And it wasn’t plain sailing for him in the beginning as he struggled in 2019 before making strides last year.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

But, now he has the challenge of undergoing that learning curve again after switching to McLaren this season. He finished the season-opener in Bahrain at a respectable seventh position. But the best is yet to come.

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So when can we expect him to get to the grips with the MCL35M?

“It’s hard to really know. [From] previous experience with Renault, I remember specifically it was race three that I felt like finally, I’d done a decent weekend. I’m not saying I was fully up to speed by race three, but that was like okay, I’d kind of got over that hurdle,” said Daniel Ricciardo

“I do feel like I’ve started a step in front. But to know when I’ll be nailing a perfect lap, hopefully not too long, but I can’t answer that at the moment, I’m not sure.”

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The Australian had been working his socks off over the winter. There were plenty of zoom calls between himself and the team engineers in a bid to prepare him for this season. So, he did not shy away from praising his new F1 crew –

“I think they’ve worked me pretty hard over the last few months pretty well. They’ve done a pretty outstanding job to get me up to speed and I guess to educate me as much as possible with the team.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Hopefully, Ricciardo can rely on his decade-long experience in the sport to help him feel comfortable with the car. Maybe then we can see him at his best – gulping down the champagne from his race-worn shoe on the Podium.

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Bharat Aggarwal

710 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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