Spanish GP: Ricciardo Still Lacking ‘Confidence’ Amid McLaren F1 Struggles

Published 05/08/2021, 3:59 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


While it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, Daniel Ricciardo has had a fair start to 2021. In his first season at McLaren, he has scored 16 points across three races so far, although he is yet to break into the top five. His teammate Lando Norris, on the other hand, has 37 points and is third in the driver standings, having secured a podium finish at Imola.

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While it may seem that Ricciardo is underperforming, he admits he is yet to find the confidence he needs to push the car to its limits. Even though he is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, three races is often a short time to get familiar with a new car.

Daniel Ricciardo: It’s about trusting the car

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Coming to a new team with a completely different set-up isn’t easy. Each car gives a different sense of feel to each driver, which ultimately shows them the limits they can push the car to.

Ricciardo believes that trusting the car is important, which, at the moment, is inhibiting him from pushing the car to its limit.

Ricciardo said, “At the end of the day, obviously there’s a lot of technique, but also it’s about trusting the car and turning it and knowing it’s gonna stick.

“I think the sensation is still a little bit different, and I think that’s probably taking a little bit of that, probably trust, away from me at the moment” said Ricciardo.

Lando has managed with the setup better: Ricciardo

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The Honey Badger also pointed out that his teammate Lando Norris‘ familiarity with the setup has allowed him to extract the full potential of the car.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 29, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

Ricciardo said“Lando in the debriefs complains about the same things, or like the weaknesses are the same things. He’s still just a bit more used to this car doing that, and he’s able to probably drive through it a bit better.”

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Qualifying might be a bit of a struggle for the Australian at the ongoing Spanish Grand Prix. Given that he finished P14 and P15 in FP1 and FP2 respectively, which position do you reckon he’ll start tomorrow’s race from?

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Sanket Nair

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