Five Grand Prix have already taken place on the Formula 1 calendar and Daniel Ricciardo, who is a McLaren driver, continues in the process of adaptation with the car, which has been reflected in his results and even though the Australian has been part of the category since 2011 and has gone through very different teams in recent years, apparently this change has not suited him so well, and even the driver has admitted his problem with the adaptation to the MCL35M. Monaco is not a new circuit for the honey badger, and we even remember that Ricciardo achieved victory in 2018, being a track where he had generally given positive results, but this year, the story has been very different.
Making a quick summary of the activity of the Australian driver on the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix, during qualifying, Ricciardo was knocked out in Q2, finishing in 12th position and in the race he also finished in 12th position. As for the first instance, P12 is not a great position to finish in since you have no points, but it is not that bad either. What really got Daniel frustrated was that Lando Norris, who is his teammate, lapped him, yes, with the same car and in the same track. After the race, Daniel was frustrated and commented that he would take a few days off and his desire to disconnect from everything.
Andreas Seidl, who serves as McLaren’s team principal, explained why Ricciardo may be having a tough time with the car and can't feel comfortable: “I think, if you look back since the beginning of the season, we have made good steps forward with him. But in order to driver our car fast at the moment, you need a special driving style which is not natural for Daniel. That’s why it is not so easy for him to get the laps in and extract the performance.” He affirmed.
“We simply have to keep working together now as one team: stay calm, keep analysing, and keep learning. Then, there are two things, which is him further adapting to our car. Because obviously, he see that the potential is there, which is I think the positive thing for him to see. After that, we can pull it off.”
After these first races, his best positions have been in Emilia Romagna and Spain, races in which he finished in 6th place and is currently in 8th place in the Drivers' Championship. In contrast, we have Norris in the fight to be the 3rd best driver on the grid, and he has already been on the podium twice, but if something has helped Lando, it is that he is currently in his third year with the team and consequently, he has a different experience in the car, showing himself more adapted and familiar with all McLaren processes.
To support him in this process, Seidl assures that as a team they are in search of elements that can make Daniel feel 100% with the car: “At the same time, we will look at the team side as well and what we can do in order to help him on the car side, to give him back his natural feeling which you need to go fast.”
McLaren has the intention and the weapons to once again achieve being the 3rd best team on the grid, so each result counts towards this objective and it becomes essential that Daniel reaches a better level as soon as possible, since Ferrari is very close and remain as their biggest threat, it should be noted that the difference between the two teams is only two points.