“Quite a Lot to Digest”: Daniel Ricciardo Bemoans Unexpected McLaren Collapse Despite Major Spanish GP Updates

Published 05/21/2022, 5:37 AM EDT
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 04: (BILD OUT) Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), McLaren F1 Team looks on during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on December 4, 2021 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Spanish Grand Prix’s Practice session 2 was not what Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren had expected. Even after several insurmountable updates, their car did not provide the drivers with the pace they originally desired.

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The Woking team practically bought a new car to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. After arguably inconsistent performances, they desire a much-needed grasp on the competition.

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The British team introduced upgrades to these areas of the MCL-36: Front wing, Front Suspension, Floor, and Engine Cover. Moreover, they brought changes in Cooling Louvres, Rear Wing, rear corner endplate, Sidepod inlet and Diffuser as well.

Daniel Ricciardo talks about McLaren’s disappointing start

After taking a fall in Miami again, the papaya team went for these enhancements. However, the practice sessions have marred team hopes ahead of the qualifying session. Closing in on the weekend, team driver Daniel Ricciardo reported, “There’s quite a lot to digest today. We tried quite a few different settings for both sessions.”

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“We clearly aren’t where we want to be on the timesheets but there’s a lot to dive into tonight. I think we’ll find some things and, let’s say, find the optimal set-up for tomorrow and hopefully that puts us inside the top 10.” 

Talking about competition’s upgrades, he further added, “Right now, there’s still a lot to take in so I’m not too sure how much to look into the times today. It was interesting to see the other cars and teams and what they’re doing. But we’ll focus on ourselves as for sure everyone today was exploring a few new things on their cars.” 

Has Mercedes managed a comeback this time?

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McLaren is not the only team to have upgraded their car. Several other outfits have also gone for critical upgrades, notably Mercedes, who finished in the top 3 in the last practice session. British driving duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton made a possible comeback after tough trials with the W13. They finished right behind a Ferrari, and seem to have nailed the right setup this time around.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 20, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Mercedes’ George Russell in action during practice REUTERS/Albert Gea

We got a glimpse of Mercedes redemption back in Miami too. Surprisingly, Russell clocked in the fastest time for the second session back then, but was left out of Q3 during Qualifying. Just when fans started hoping for a Silver Arrows’ front row, the team arguably messed up the pace on race weekend.

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Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, McLaren and Mercedes’ developments will be crucial. Can either or both of the teams become capable of fighting in the top-tier clump?

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Khyati Yadav

350 articles

Khyati Yadav is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. She is a Hospitality Graduate and a huge fan of Lando Norris. She believes that F1 as a sport deserves a lot more attention and is intrigued by the process that goes behind the making of a car and the hard work that goes into the setting up of any Grand Prix.

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