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Ricciardo already ‘feeling better’ at McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. Credits: Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo, the newcomer to the McLaren F1 Team, revealed that he is beginning to feel ‘better’ in the car after Bahrain.

The Australian joined Lando Norris to race for McLaren in 2021 after a transition from Renault, now known as Alpine. His first race for the team at Bahrain ended with a P7 finish, a slightly disheartening result after qualifying P6 the day prior and ahead of Norris. To make matters worse for Ricciardo, his teammate managed an impressive P4 at the Grand Prix’s conclusion. It was later revealed that Ricciardo’s MCL35M had sustained damage to its floor after contact with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly during the opening stages of the race and that this was a big factor in his inability to match his teammate. However, despite the first race’s misfortune, Daniel Ricciardo says he is becoming more comfortable with his new team and car.

“I completely expected it to take a few races to feel comfortable in the car, but I’m feeling better after race one than I have done at the same point in previous years, so that’s really promising,” he explained. “

“I was a bit unfortunate with the damage we found on the car after the race, and there’s still a few more things to learn and get to grips with, which takes a bit of time. But given that, I’m confident we’ve got a lot more performance left to unlock. We’ve been working hard back at the factory to understand how we can build on that solid start.

“Imola’s up next and we’re going to give it plenty.”

Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a third-place finish in last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola while he was still racing for Renault, making the circuit a positive place to return to.

“I’m really excited to be heading back [to Imola] after last year’s race where I finished on the podium,” said Ricciardo. “It’s an iconic old-school track with a fast and flowing layout that provides little room for error [and] I’m definitely planning on bringing that experience from last year to help the team this weekend and fight for those points.”

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