Despite Daniel Ricciardo had a great weekend in Spain outqualifying his teammate both on Saturday and Sunday, he believes that he still has room to improve and has a lot to learn still.
Ricciardo said that the MCL35M is difficult to drive for him since it does not match his driving style, and he needs his engineer to guide him in order to gain time and improve in the areas where he is still not confident.
Ricciardo spoke about the conversations he has with his engineer, Tom Stallard.
“It’s like being a beginner all over again, being tutored every corner!” laughed Ricciardo. “’ Good job, do that better, okay, improve a bit more here.’ The feedback I’m getting from the team is good, and they’re trying to get me into some good habits with this car and the characteristics.
“So things like that, whether it’s braking or the way you get on the throttle, it’s something unique, and I guess I’m still having to be a little bit conscious about that and teach myself enough that it does become natural.”
The Aussie driver also admitted that driving around the Spaniard venue surely helped him a lot since it is the track that he knows best thanks to the many tests that F1 has run there.
“Barcelona’s so familiar, and I think some familiarity is good for me right now to kind of get up to speed,” said Ricciardo. “So I was certainly more comfortable. Say if there are 15 corners on this track, 10 of them I would say I was feeling good in, but there’s still a handful that I know I can execute better [and] I know over time I’ll start to find those extra little half tenths here and there to get a bit more out of the car.
“It still does require a bit of thought in some corners,” Ricciardo added. “I think the quicker corners are a bit easier: you kind of just chuck it in and hold on.
“But these kinds of longer corners where you’re in the corner for a long time and having to be quite delicate and precise, that’s where… the car is sensitive, and it’s working well in some ways but not well the others, and I think I’m certainly trying to program myself to learn how to drive faster. So I’m back at school!”