Monaco GP: ‘Sensitive’ Mercedes F1 Engine Leaves Ricciardo Frustrated

Published 05/21/2021, 4:09 AM EDT
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

Daniel Ricciardo, who bears an exhilarating history with Monte Carlo, struggled to deliver a strong show over either of Thursday’s practice sessions.


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The Australian managed measly P15 over both FP1 and FP2, while his teammate was embracing the power of the Mercedes power unit at the back, almost hitting the front of the grid.

So, what’s causing Ricciardo to suffer such a massive difference in pace? Well, the McLaren driver opened up that the Mercedes power unit plays a substantial role in his 2021 struggles.


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The Honey Badger reckoned that the Stuttgart-based engines are very sensitive compared to his former teams’ engine, Renault.

Mercedes PU is very sensitive: Ricciardo

During an interview on Thursday, Ricciardo pointed out the negatives that a Mercedes’ power unit brings with itself. Furthermore, the power unit is starting to frustrate the 2018 Monaco GP winner.

Uh, it’s.. No, I don’t think so. It’s probably more like entries and just more on like car and the balance. Yeah, like I won’t lie, it is very sensitive,” he said.

And that’s probably been the frustrating thing. It feels like it does require a certain style to drive it. And if you don’t do that and get it right, it just, like today, just isn’t fast. But, yeah, still trying to get my head around it.”

After a strong showing in Barcelona, all eyes were on the Australian ahead of the race weekend at Monte Carlo. However, in reality, things have a taken drastic turn for the worst.

Both the practice sessions witnessed Ricciardo lapping almost a second slower compared to his teammate, Lando Norris.

Can Ricciardo make a comeback on Saturday?

Although Ricciardo’s struggles were quite evident throughout Thursday, one must also consider the fact that he could have been running with a much lower engine mode compared to others, not to forget the fuel load.

Hence, with too many factors to consider, the tables could turn quite drastically for Ricciardo by the time he arrives at the paddock for Saturday’s qualifying.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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This is also an incredibly crucial weekend for McLaren amidst their fight for P3 against Ferrari. The Maranello outfit has looked at top form since the start of this weekend.

Hence, strong race results from them in Monaco could push McLaren down to P4 on the constructor’s table. So, will Ricciardo and Norris join forces to fend off the in-form Ferrari duo at the Monaco Grand Prix?


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Rohit Kumar

741 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.