After two races in 2021, McLaren’s latest recruit, Daniel Ricciardo, is struggling to find enough pace to close the gap to his teammate, Lando Norris. Nonetheless, the Australian is not alarmed by his adaptation time, as he did not “underestimate” it.
In 2021, Ricciardo was transfered from Renault to McLaren. The British team is showing very promising results at the moment, as Lando Norris managed to secure a podium finish, last week, in Imola.
Nevertheless, Ricciardo seemed to be way slower than his teammate, around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, where he already claimed a podium finish in 2020. At the beginning of the race, the Australian was even asked to let Norris pass him, as he was slowing him down, which is always very frustrating for a driver.
However, the 31-year old is not alarmed by his adaptation time as he knows that especially with the new regulations, reducing downforce on Formula One single-seaters and reducing the winter testings duration, it is way harder than ever before to suit your driving style to a new car.
The Australian is probably even more confident, considering his very frustrating debut with Renault, in which he retired from three out of the first four races of the 2019 season, before becoming extremely fast behind the wheel of his RS20.
“I don’t think I underestimated it,” Daniel Ricciardo Sky Sports, about his adaptation time.
“It’s, I guess, unfortunately just going to take a bit of time. But you know, the season’s long. I think it’s only race two.”
“You know, I was well aware of this when I transitioned from Red Bull to Renault.”
“Of course, I want to be quicker already but if I look back maybe on race seven and I look back at race two, I’m probably just giggling.”
Ricciardo already mentioned his appreciation of McLaren’s team principal, Andreas Seidl management style and thinks he is a very efficient team manager. A good understanding between him and his boss should be very helpful in his integration into the team and it already looks like the current passes weel between both of them, as Seidl also manifested his confidence in his driver.
“These cars are complex and then to find these last two, three, four-tenths when you’re really not comfortable to push these cars to the limit, that’s not that straightforward to find and get out of these cars. That takes time,” said Seidl.
“And I think, with the experience Daniel is having, with the experience we are having in the team, it’s just a matter of three more race weekends, and then I’m sure Daniel is fully comfortable in our car as well.”