Ricciardo Explains How Sainz Helped Him Find the ‘Knife-Edge’ of McLaren F1 Car

Published 07/20/2021, 3:50 AM EDT
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


How long has it been since F1 witnessed Daniel Ricciardo at his best? Well, the wait finally ended at the recently concluded British Grand Prix. The Australian looked at his prime throughout the weekend at Silverstone and also gained crucial 10 points for the team amidst their ongoing battle for P3 with Ferrari.

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Interestingly, the Honey Badger pointed to his McLaren predecessor, Carlos Sainz, for the impressive drive during the race.

What’s more, Ricciardo reckoned that his understanding of the 2021 McLaren challenger has grown up a notch, thanks to the hard on-track battle with the Spaniard.

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What did Daniel Ricciardo say?

As reported by Race Fans, Ricciardo opined that he is feeling much comfortable with McLaren after the race-long battle with Sainz.

I think having Carlos actually for most of the race putting the pressure on me kind of forced me to, in a way, over-drive some corners. And I think it allowed me to feel a little more where that edge is,” Ricciardo believes.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Ricciardo was behind Sainz until the first round of pit stops arrived. While Ricciardo enjoyed a quick stop, it was an absolutely disappointing one from Ferrari.

This consequently left the Spaniard behind the McLaren driver. Of course, Sainz’s Ferrari showed brilliant on-track pace, but the way Ricciardo defended shattered the former’s hopes of securing a top 5 finish.

Strange F1 race for Ricciardo at Silverstone

Ricciardo reckoned that his race at the British Grand Prix was quite strange, as he lacked pace, unlike past weekends.

It’s strange. Because you’d think on one lap is more when you’re really pushing the car on the limit. And maybe the race, when everything settles down, I’ll have a bit more [pace],” he said.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 15, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo arrives ahead of the British Grand Prix REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

But I’ve kind of seen the opposite this weekend. On the race, when the car’s a bit [high] on fuel and starts to move around more. That’s where I’ve still got to dial it in a bit more. I think just the feeling and being able to really put the car on that knife-edge. I’m not able to do as consistently yet,” Ricciardo added.

Overall, these are positive signs for Ricciardo amidst his evident 2021 struggles with McLaren. Hence, all eyes will be on the Australian in Hungary next weekend. So, will the upcoming Grand Prix witness Ricciardo overpowering his teammate, Lando Norris, for the first time this season?

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Rohit Kumar

919 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.

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