McLaren: Ricciardo's struggles exaggerated by low-grip circuits

Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles at McLaren in the last two races have been exaggerated by the low-grip track surfaces, says his Formula 1 team boss Andreas Seidl.

McLaren: Ricciardo's struggles exaggerated by low-grip circuits
Listen to this article

The Australian has had difficult weekends at Imola and Portimao, being unable to match teammate Lando Norris.

But the contrast was huge during qualifying at the Portuguese Grand Prix when Ricciardo was dumped out of Q1 as he lacked confidence to push his McLaren as he would like. He will start from 16th on the grid.

McLaren is clear that Ricciardo is simply lacking mileage in the car, and it believes the gaps between him and Norris have been made to look bigger simply because of slippery track surfaces expose any trepidation in car feeling.

Seidl said: “I think in the end it's minor things that probably get exaggerated in low-grip conditions, like we have them here and like we also had in Imola with the drying track.

“We have seen in the [Friday] practice session, that [the Q1 exit] is definitely not the gap he's having to Lando at the moment. He was just trying to put the lap together and it's not easy to get the laps in here with the traffic, with the wind and everything with the low-grip conditions.

“We simply need to stay calm, analyse, work through it, and I'm sure it will come.”

Read Also:

Ricciardo said he was still getting to grips with understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the McLaren package, and reckoned he was unable to fall back on some old techniques that he used in the past to help him get more lap time.

For example, a previous trait to try to carry more speed in to the apex does not work at tracks with low grip as it often just results in the car sliding more.

“I’m trying to still exploit the strengths of the car, but also driving around the weaknesses,” he said. “There’s things that I used to do maybe to let's say go quicker in the entry of a corner that might not work now. It might tip it over the edge, so to speak.

“So it's fine tuning kind of everything: like the way you turn in, the way you brake and all of that. But yeah, I'm sure it's different. But at the end of the day, like every F1 car is going to be different, it's up to me to adapt.”

Ricciardo said longer term he could help McLaren to tweak the car in a direction that would better suit him, but for now he had to sort matters out for himself.

“I can give feedback and tell them, ‘okay I think this can be better and we should try and develop the car in this phase.’ But obviously at the end of the day, for now, it is what it is.

“So I've just got to adapt a little more. I felt like it was getting better this weekend. I felt like Friday was a step in the right direction and obviously, quali was, I'd say probably, not the real picture of how the weekend had been going. And of course that kind of makes it maybe even more disappointing.” 

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso: Alpine car "much more alive" despite qualifying struggles
Previous article

Alonso: Alpine car "much more alive" despite qualifying struggles

Next article

Alfa Romeo wins right to review Raikkonen Imola F1 penalty

Alfa Romeo wins right to review Raikkonen Imola F1 penalty
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022