Daniel Ricciardo Blames Pirelli for McLaren F1 Struggles

Published 07/10/2021, 1:15 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


Since moving to McLaren this season, Daniel Ricciardo hasn’t quite made the noise he was hoping to. With just 40 points from the first nine races, the Australian looks quite shaky in most race weekends in his papaya-colored car.

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Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Ricciardo admitted Pirelli’s new tire construction could have something to do with it.

Daniel Ricciardo believes Pirelli’s tire construction affected his performance in 2021

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Although many expected Ricciardo to be the shining light at McLaren, his teammate Lando Norris is outperforming him in every race so far. In fact, Norris remains the only driver to score points in all 9 races and is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.

Despite joining McLaren with a race-winning pedigree, Ricciardo looks a shadow of his former self this season. However, the Australian believes Pirelli has a part to play in his dreadful season so far.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 1, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo arrives at the circuit REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, the 32-year-old believes the behavior of the tires makes things frustrating. He said“Pirelli changed the design of the front tires and a few other things, and everything immediately felt very different.

“The funny thing about the tires is: on some laps it works quite well, you have maximum grip and set good lap times and sometimes you don’t even know why.

” Then suddenly it doesn’t work at all, even though you haven’t done anything else. That can be very frustrating.” (Quotes translated from Google)

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Ricciardo believes Norris’ admission helps his case

Despite performing very well this season, Norris admitted the McLaren car is much harder to drive than before. Hence, Ricciardo believes his struggles are similar to that of Norris.

He said, “At first I thought it had to do with the different aerodynamics of the cars. But Lando himself says that the McLaren is harder to drive this year than it was last year.”

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While the Australian finished P7 in the Austrian Grand Prix, he returns to the track where he made his F1 debut next weekend. Could the British Grand Prix spark a comeback for Ricciardo in his first season with the Woking-based outfit? Only time will tell.

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Sanket Nair

344 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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