F1 Insider Believes Ricciardo Yet to Reach Renault Frustration Levels Amid Mclaren Slump

Published 06/01/2021, 5:11 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 23, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo before the race Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


Daniel Ricciardo is a driver who’s enduring one of his worst starts to an F1 season. With just 24 points from five races, the Aussie cannot seem to end his struggles since moving to McLaren this season.

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To add to his misery, his teammate, Lando Norris, is far ahead in third place with 56 points. Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lawrence Barretto, a senior writer at F1.com, appeared on the “In the Fast Lane” podcast. He compared Ricciardo’s current situation to his early days in Renault, and believes a return to Baku might just be what the Aussie needs.

Daniel Ricciardo not at the same stage of pain compared to Renault: Barretto

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With a disappointing P12 finish in the Monaco Grand Prix, Ricciardo’s struggles this season continue. Despite winning here with Red Bull, the Aussie couldn’t make his way up the grid from P12 this year.

Ahead of the Baku weekend, Barretto spoke about how he’s still putting a smile on his face in the paddock. Although he is enduring a rough start, he hasn’t let the pain affect him as much as it did in Renault.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Appearing on the “In the Fast Lane” podcast, Barretto said, “He’s still smiling. He doesn’t seem like he’s letting the world get on top of him in a way that, in Renault, it was very clear that he felt the pain of what was going on. And I don’t feel like we’re there yet.”

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Can Ricciardo regain lost confidence in Baku?

Ricciardo now heads back to Baku after two years, with last year’s race cancelled because of COVID-19. If there’s any track on the calendar where the Honey Badger can make a comeback, it’s Baku.

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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

Winning here in 2017, the Aussie admits to liking this track, something that Barretto points out. “It might be a good thing that he’s going to Baku. Like he said, to a venue that he likes,” he said.

And he might feel a little bit more confident in pursuing certain directions with the car, and then just get a result where he just feels like he’s got a lightbulb moment, which is kind of what he had at Renault.”

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Baku’s known for hosting the most unpredictable races on the F1 calendar. In fact, Ricciardo won the 2017 race after starting P10. Can the Aussie redeem his season in the “Land of Fire”?

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Sanket Nair

632 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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