Daniel Ricciardo crossed the finish line P9 in Austria scoring two points for Mclaren, however the Aussie driver felt frustrated with the inconsistencies of the MCL66’s performance over the race weekend.
The 2022 season has proven to be challenging for Daniel Ricciardo who last secured his top ten result in Baku - three races prior to the Austrian Grand Prix. Ricciardo struggled to finish above the top ten for the majority of the race weekend, from FP1 where he was P17, Sprint Qualifying P16, FP2 17th and P12 in the Sprint Race. While a top ten result in Austria represented progress that has been made over the past few races, Ricciardo remained unsatisfied with the lack of consistency he was able to extract from the MCL66.
After the race in Austria, speaking to selected media, Ricciardo chose his words carefully as he explained why he was “pleased” and not happy with his race result.
“Obviously the target was points. I think, as a team, we’re happy with that. It’s a lot better than where we were Friday, so to get double-points is good for us,” Ricciardo said.
“I'd say pleased, I wouldn't go as far as like happy. But I'd say pleased. Why not happy? Which is probably what you're going to ask me. If not, then I'll answer it anyway.
“I just felt like yesterday, there was a few corners in particular where I was like, alright, like, this is a strength. And I didn't I didn't have that today, there was a couple places where I couldn't really put the car where I wanted where I could yesterday, so that was a little bit frustrating.”
“I would have loved to have got Magnussen, but we’ve got to take what we can today. More points, bit of damage-limitation, so pleased with that.”
Ricciardo also admitted that it was his lock-up into turn one that caused him to experience a major setback early on in the race.
“I was struggling with the left-front in the first stint as I'd had a lock-up into turn one, and put us a bit on the back-foot.
“I think the first set was a bit more because I flat-spotted the front left at the start. I don't even remember, but I think the team said into turn one. I think it works because I made a position but then I screwed the tyre.
The McLaren driver revealed that he wasn’t able to fully recover or manage to get his strengths back in car performance after his lock-up in the first stint of the race.
“And then I was struggling about that first stint and but even after that, still didn't really get those strengths back. So yeah, a little bit. Wish I had those couple more tenths to put me in the fight with the Haas’. But I think on a weekend where we weren't strong, really ever, I think we did well to kind of walk away with the double points.
“So it didn’t feel as good as yesterday. We then struggled more with the front, particularly front-left, even without the flat-spot, but I think we did well to get what we could today.
Ricciardo disclosed that in addition to the issues he experienced during the race in Austria, his main struggle was coping with the constant inconsistencies from the MCL36 throughout practice and qualifying.
“I think the difficulty is that it's honestly pretty inconsistent. You know, I don't know like the winds and you know, things do affect the cars and you know, I remember seeing one lap I did a I don't know like 11.2 And the next level like a 10.5 So like massive swings were like fine half a second, just like that, but then the next level will drop off again. So it is really quite, I guess inconsistent at times. And just such such on the edge.”
The 33-year-old driver currently sits in 12th position in the driver standings at the halfway point in the season while his teammate Lando Norris is seventh.