Ricciardo sometimes ‘a little too lost’ in McLaren F1 troubles in 2022

The Australian parted ways with McLaren after the last Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after two tough Formula 1 seasons as a McLaren driver.

While there was a significant highlight, Ricciardo’s win at Monza in 2021, he was mostly outclassed by teammate Lando Norris.

This ultimately resulted in a three-year deal being terminated early when McLaren replaced him with fellow Australian Oscar Piastri for 2023.

Ricciardo opened up about his struggles at McLaren over the past two years on the latest episode of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s ‘In the Fast Lane’ podcast.

He admitted that over-analyzing his lack of pace became a problem and eventually distracted him from his natural riding style.

“It’s something I’ve certainly thought about,” he said.

“I feel like now that the season is over, I’ve slowly let go. But I’m sure I’ll think about it over time because it’s a bit… I don’t want to say a mystery, but the kind of constant struggles I had were very alien, at least to me.

“We all have our bad races but to have as much as I’ve had and the level it was at times like a second a lap off pace I’d scratch my head.

“I think I noticed last year, during the summer break, that I drive very consciously. That was no longer a matter of course. I was a step behind.

“I thought, ‘I think we’re trying to do too much’.

“One thing I always think back to is my very first qualifying session with McLaren. I hit Lando.

“I still didn’t really know the car. I don’t know how many times I’ve surpassed him in the two years, but it wasn’t by much.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Pictures

“Having done that when I was probably driving more by feel and instinct and a lack of knowledge about the car, I was probably better off.

“This is not a blow to anyone or anything. It’s more like, okay, did we overanalyze our bad weekends and then get caught up in a way where it was like, ‘We’ve got to start driving like this or tune the car like this’?

“At some point we would certainly have been a little too deep and a little too lost.”

Also read:

Ricciardo balked at attributing his lack of success solely to the level of analysis, openly admitting that the car revealed some of its weaknesses.

“If we hadn’t dove that deep, would I have killed it? I still don’t think I would have killed it in that car,” he said.

“It certainly exposed some of my weaknesses. I have to accept that.

“But I feel like we probably underperformed because we digged too deep into everything at times. And that’s a real thing. Especially now.

“Race weekends are so busy, it’s so busy. You only have a certain amount of energy – mental energy, physical energy, whatever.

“If you expend a little more mental energy analyzing too much, you’re probably already a little fried by the time you get in the car.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *