SportF1Ricciardo compares his tuning to the MCL36 to a...

Ricciardo compares his tuning to the MCL36 to a dance partner

After more than a year of continual struggles to find comfort at McLaren, where he has more often than not been in the shadow of Lando Norris, it finally appears that he has finally found a glimmer of hope that things are looking up.

His pace in Baku put him in a position where the Woking outfit had to intervene with team orders, with Ricciardo and Norris running very close to each other at all times.

The challenge of finding the tenths that separated him from his team-mate has not been an easy task for the Australian driver, as it seems to be more a matter of details than something obvious that can be detected as a major driving error.

As Ricciardo himself explained, sometimes becoming one with the car is something that boils down to a personal feeling, rather than something that can be seen on a computer screen.

“As a racing driver, you get better little by little with racing,” he said, when asked by to explain what was missing. “But I think we’ve also made progress on the feeling of living and feeling every lap. It’s kind of a powerful feeling.”

“So when you’re not fully in tune with the car, that part of the feeling is missing. It’s like dancing, you and your partner have to be in tune. And if you’re not, then it’s a little less enjoyable.” the australian

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, on the grid

Their weekend in Monaco was one of those where things started well, but then fizzled out: and digging into the details of what happened, both McLaren and Ricciardo found answers for improvement, as seen in Baku. .

“We’ve been able to see some positive signs so I think it’s probably the most motivating part we’ve had so far in terms of our progress,” said the Australian.

“I think obviously there are more things that we understand and we need to put into practice. There is still more for performance to exploit, but I think this is a good sign.”

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl claimed that the biggest thing Daniel Ricciardo lacked was the confidence to find the last few tenths, again proving the Australian right in his comparison to being in tune with a pair. of dance.

The German said: “Especially when he gets to qualifying and when he has to push the car to the limit, he doesn’t feel as comfortable as Lando [Norris]. That’s where the difference comes from, along with the fact that he’s obviously up against a Lando who is in top form.”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36

Confidence is something that depends on oneself and can change overnight; instead of needing the manufacture of a specific part that improves a special area of the car.

“I know I can still do it,” Ricciardo said. “I think in this sport everything works at an incredibly high level, so if something is a little bit out of tune then it can have a pretty big negative effect.”

“So really it’s just up to me to get back to that position where I’m totally in tune with the car and then the rest will come. I’ve felt it before so I think I could do it again anytime and from there. I’ll start again to build a good rhythm.”

What also seems obvious is that McLaren CEO Zak Brown ‘s comments about Ricciardo ‘s future and performance prompted an immediate change in the Australian’s mindset, though Andreas Seidl doesn’t see it that way.

“I don’t think Daniel [Ricciardo] is a driver, with the experience he has, who needs any external pressure to keep working hard, find those tenths that he was missing and feel completely comfortable with the car,” he concluded.

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