Ricciardo 'lacked that additional little bit of really feel' at McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo has been speaking about his ill-fated tenure at McLaren, and why it proved to be such a disappointing two seasons for him at Woking.

Ricciardo arrived at McLaren at first of 2021 after two seasons at Renault, however from the beginning he struggled to match the performances of his younger workforce mate Lando Norris.

Though he gained the 2021 Italian GP with Norris simply behind him in a McLaren 1-2, Ricciardo by no means felt snug within the automotive. He continued to flounder in 2022 when new aerodynamic guidelines and rules got here into impact.

With no enchancment in sight, McLaren opted to purchase Ricciardo out of the ultimate 12 months of his contract and change him with fellow Australian driver Oscar Piastri. Ricciardo will now function Pink Bull’s third driver in 2023.

In the meantime Ricciardo has been spending his time trying again at what went flawed at McLaren, as he defined to the official Past the Grid podcast this week.

“Most difficulties begin on the entry [to corners]; possibly not all, however most,” he instructed. “It’s type of an entry factor, however it’s extra identical to a really feel and a limitation.


“All of it begins there. In case you wrestle with a nook on the exit, usually it’s a product of what’s occurred by the nook that’s put you ready of, let’s say, issue on the exit.

“I may actually simply strip all of it again and simply say it’s confidence, as a result of I lack that additional little bit of really feel with the automotive to place it on the very restrict and to know what I’m going to get.

“There have been only a few laps this 12 months sadly the place I crossed the road and [thought], ‘That was an excellent lap!’” he added.

This 12 months noticed new rules introduced in, however Ricciardo stated that they hadn’t considerably modified the basic nature of the McLaren.

“The automobiles actually behaved a bit otherwise, however I might say the DNA of the automotive continues to be the identical. The place I might wrestle, it was in the end the identical factor.”

The workforce introduced in numerous upgrades to the entrance and rear wings, in addition to suspension, ground, sidepods, engine cowl and diffuser on the Spanish Grand Prix, but when something this simply made issues more durable for Ricciardo.

“We introduced updates round Barcelona and it was then that I began to wrestle a bit extra. I don’t know if that was a coincidence, however the hole [to Lando] began to extend once more.

“Up till then I felt like I used to be at all times inside a tenth or two of Lando, and we have been type of going a bit extra nip and tuck. That’s the place it began to separate once more.”

Ricciardo identified that in his first race with McLaren in Bahrain, he’d out-qualified Norris – solely to fall behind within the race.

“That was once I was nonetheless pretty ‘inexperienced’ with the automotive, if you realize what I imply,” he informed podcast host Tom Clarkson. “I type of surprise, did we simply get misplaced alongside the best way?

“Did I then begin to strive too arduous? Did we attempt to engineer it too arduous, and get away from, let’s say, my strengths after which attempt to drive the automotive a sure manner?

“Perhaps [it was in a way that was] a weak point for me, and one thing that I couldn’t actually grasp. I don’t know, it’s an attention-grabbing one.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren MCL36 on the grid. 13.11.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Race

“On each ends we struggled, by way of the workforce making an attempt to grasp what it was and the best way to then replace it and enhance it.

“However from my facet I’m additionally like, ‘Okay I’m not excellent. Positive I’ve obtained some weaknesses, this automotive occurs to show a couple of of them.’ However let’s say I nonetheless didn’t discover a method to gel at one with this automotive typically sufficient.”

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