F1: McLaren boss reveals why Ricciardo is struggling to perform
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Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren boss has given a direct answer when asked plain and simple why the Aussie is struggling this season when his teammate is flying.
The 31-year-old’s Monaco Grand Prix weekend was a nightmare from the start, qualifying 12th, nearly a full second slower than teammate Lando Norris, before ultimately finishing 12th — and suffering the humiliation of watching on as Norris passed by to lap him.
Norris finished third, his third career podium.
He holds the advantage of finishing better than Ricciardo in four of the five grands prix this year.
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has never questioned Ricciardo’s form or his future ability to deliver results for the team — and he revealed exactly why on Thursday morning when asked point blank why the Aussie is struggling so much in his new MCL35M.
His answer is directly related to Ricciardo’s admission earlier this month he is still struggling with some aspects of his new car — particularly locking his brakes up.
Seidl’s new statement now highlights how unnatural the change has been for Ricciardo after jumping ship from Renault at the end of 2020.
“In order to drive our car fast at the moment, you need a special driving style which is not natural for Daniel,” Seidl said, according to F1.com.
“That’s why it’s not easy for him to get the laps in and extract the performance.
“We simply have to keep working together as one team: Stay calm, keep learning, keep analysing and do two things, which is him further adapting to our car, because he sees that the potential is there, which is the positive thing for him to see that and that Lando can pull it off.
“And at the same time we look at the team side as well to see what we can do to help him on the car side, to get back this natural feeling, which you need to go fast. That’s where we are.”
Speaking after the race, Ricciardo was still smiling, but said he was already working at forgetting this weekend, saying he will take a couple days to get away from everything after suggesting he was “nowhere” during his Monaco campaign.
It comes after a false dawn when the Aussie bounced back at the Spanish Grand Prix by besting Norris for the first time. He was praised by Formula 1 commentators for putting his head down and doing the homework needed on his new car after confronting the fact that his teammate is simply faster than he is at the moment.
He will be keeping that head down through to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on June 6.