Webber Decodes Real Reason Behind ‘80%’ of Ricciardo’s McLaren F1 Struggles

Published 07/15/2021, 4:40 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

When he announced his move to McLaren F1, massive expectations surrounded Daniel Ricciardo. There was success written all over his journey with the British outfit. However, the reality has been quite sour.


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All Ricciardo has seen so far are disappointments and heartbreaks, as opposed to his teammate’s glories. This led to many wondering what was going wrong with Ricciardo, a driver who was once hailed as a future world champion.

Amidst several speculations, Ricciardo’s Red Bull predecessor, Mark Webber, looks to have decoded the actual truth behind the former’s struggles at McLaren.


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He just can’t get on top of the car: Webber

Speaking to Nine, the former F1 driver opined that Ricciardo is struggling around the entry to the corners, which is subsequently causing him to lose crucial tenths and hundredths of seconds against Lando Norris.

He just can’t get on top of the car right now, particularly the entry to the corners. And that is 80 percent of our job. It’s like the backswing for a golfer or footwork for a cricketer,” Webber said.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Entry to the corner is everything. He just can’t get that dialled in. And the rest of the corner is really challenging,” the Australian added.

Ricciardo is slowly recovering from the poor start to the season by showcasing a brilliant pace during the Austrian GP. Despite starting the race from far outside the top 10, Ricciardo finished his race in P7.


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Webber had straightforward advice for his fellow Australian amidst his ongoing struggles in F1. The 44-year-old demanded that Ricciardo must push harder to work his way up the field over the coming races.

He’s not really making any errors but outright speed, he just can’t turn it on at the moment,” he said. “But there’s too much class for this to go on for too long. He’ll get on top of it.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during qualifying REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

We talk about MMI – Man-Machine Interface. He’s going to have to work harder. The only way is forward. But he’ll get it sorted, I’ll be highly, highly surprised if he doesn’t.”


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Overall, the next stop is Silverstone for the drivers, and Ricciardo has performed quite well around this circuit. And on top of that, the high-speed nature of the circuit is likely to play into McLaren’s strengths and will be tempting to fight the top runners.

How interesting would it be if Ricciardo and Norris join forces to battle against Mercedes and Red Bull for the podium? Well, let’s hope the McLaren duo adds spice to this weekend similar to Austria.


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Rohit Kumar

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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.