It has not been an easy couple of years for Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian driver has struggled to live up to McLaren´s expectations. Last week, he had to publish on his social media that he was fully committed to working with McLaren after some publications mentioned McLaren was considering possible changes for the 2023 season.
Running 12th in the Championship standings with 17 points under his belt his present clearly contrasts with teammate Lando Norris who´s currently 7th with 64 points behind Mercedes pairing Russell and Hamilton who are currently 5th and 6th.
When speaking to media ahead of the Austrian GP weekend, the young Brit is willing to help his teammate to improve his performances.
"I'm happy if he has questions to ask me, if he wants to know how I feel in the car and so on,"
However, the young Brit admits that they have different driving styles and sometimes his feelings are not similar to Ricciardo´s.
“But, at the same time, some of my feelings are not translated to his feelings, and how we drive the cars is slightly different as well. I don’t mind as much instability from the car and can push on the fronts more, and he prefers one that is a bit more stable, and made with a little more understeer in a way.”
Styles are different and, according to Norris, it is not easy just to do what the other says. However, he insists that there´s no problem with helping each other.
"It's not as easy as just saying, 'I do this, do that'. It's also not easy saying what I do, or vice versa, him saying what he does and me going out to do exactly that. but there's no harm in it. We help each other as much as we can."
Norris is sympathetic with Ricciardo´s feelings as he accepts the McLaren is not the easiest car to drive.
“I do feel like it's a difficult car to drive, our car…So some of the driving styles you need are not ones you grow up learning, and therefore you have to adapt quite a bit.”
It was not like the McLaren fits Norris style perfectly. He also had to adapt himself to it and recognises he struggled at the beginning of the season.
“It's not just because I've been with McLaren for four years that I know this car inside out. I struggled at the beginning of the season probably with my driving style a little bit more than what Daniel struggled with initially, in the first few tests, and I feel like I had to adapt to it quite a bit.”
Although he is willing to help he is not taking up on it as a constant duty.
"As much as I'm willing to help and offer advice and answer questions, it's not like I go out there only to try and do that. I still have to focus on my own race, and try and finish sixth and get the good points and things like that. It's a balance; certain things I do understand, other bits not so much."