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McLaren "disappointed" at slow Ricciardo transition

NEWS STORY
09/07/2021

McLaren boss, Andreas Seidl has admitted that Daniel Ricciardo's slow transition has disappointed the team and also the Australian.

Over the winter a number of drivers changed teams, but while the likes of Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel have mostly settled into their new homes, Daniel Ricciardo is still clearly struggling.

Ricciardo has had his moments since joining the Woking outfit, but for the most part has been out-qualified and out-raced by his young teammate, Lando Norris.

After 9 rounds, the Australian is eighth in the standings with 40 points, whilst Norris is fourth on 101, with three podium finishes.

"I don't think he imagined it would be so difficult to change teams," Seidl told RTL.

"He's disappointed and so are we, because we thought it would be faster," he added, referring to the transition.

Interestingly, other than a well-deserved drive to 6th in France, Ricciardo's form has dropped off in recent races following a fairly strong start to the season.

Indeed, of the last five races he has failed to make it into Q3 on four ocassions, whilst Norris started from the front row last weekend. In fact, Norris is the only driver to have scored points in every race.

"It's great to see how he approaches the races," said Seidl of the youngster. "Even if the first lap doesn't work out, he doesn't let himself be disturbed. He waits for his chances and then takes advantage. He has an impressive determination and makes almost no mistakes.

"It's also great to see how he has developed outside of the car, his personality. He's only 21 and extremely down to earth and a team player."

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1. Posted by flyinglap, 12/07/2021 19:07

"When a team principal, and one as highly experienced and capable as Seidl to boot, makes such a public admission it is never done lightly and on the spur of the moment, especially at such an early stage of a long season. I suspect that there is a performance clause somewhere in Ricciardo's contract that could potentially trigger remuneration "alterations", substitution or even premature termination going ahead, considering the kind of performance that Norris has been extracting from supposedly the same car and the amount of points scored. After all, McLaren do have all the comparative data for both drivers from every single time they drive the car or the simulator, therefore I am confident they do know what they are talking about. I would also like to remind that Ricciardo had found himself in practically the same situation after switching from Red Bull to Renault, but that was somehow explained as a car deficiency rather than his own. I do not dispute his racecraft, late braking, ability to pass and all that, but I do dispute his state of form, concentration and analytical capacity since he stopped driving for Red Bull (who apparently provided a top-handling car that happened to suit his style) and especially since he signed that multi-million contract with Renault. In the end of his term with Renault, a podium was hailed as a major achievement due to a great driver, but the underestimated Ocon even managed a second place, therefore I am not convinced. We will see how it goes."

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2. Posted by kenji, 12/07/2021 10:30

"@ Simon in Adelaide....I think you need to take into consideration that this 'situation' cuts both ways.Drivers need to be able to adapt and so do teams. Teams need to give drivers cars that they can exploit to suit their individual styles. This doesn't always happen...witness Marko when questioned about Webbers concerns with how the car was built and set up to suit Vettel. He stated, 'Webber will just have to change his style'. That was difficult for him to do and Vettel was streets ahead at times as a result. That's not being too clever and McClaren would be doing whatever they can but they will be unwilling to change too much given that there's a totally new car due in 6 months time. "

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3. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 12/07/2021 8:56

"As genial as Andreas appears to be when interviewed on Sky, there is a steely determination there and Daniel would do well to recognise this 'warning shot across the bows'.

The best drivers are able to adapt their 'style' to suit the car and not vice versa.

There is a lot of young talent in F2 whose talent is adaptable ...... enough said?"

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4. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 11/07/2021 0:31

"He, RIC, will come good in time.
I think even Sainz has asked him how he is taking to the car, indicating that it is quite a bit different and tricky to master.
Once Ricciardo does start delivering then McLaren will have two drivers pulling in the points.
One thing to consider though, is how long does Ricciardo stick it out going on how he left Renault, that improved somewhat while he was there."

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5. Posted by Wokingchap, 10/07/2021 11:40

"He'll get there.....for sure."

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6. Posted by kenji, 10/07/2021 1:50

"Yesterday I read an excellent review of DR's problems which highlighted the difficulties he's having. He hasn't forgotten how to drive fast, however his main problem appears to be with the BBW and the retardation system and how that flows with his driving style when cornering and exiting. The car is difficult to drive and evidently there is no way that it can be modified to suit his style given the time and the constraints associated with the radical new for '22 car. For Norris however, he's had three years to adapt his style to the idiosyncrasies of the McLaren. He has also stated that it is a difficult car to master! I do think that we have all underestimated just how difficult it is to change teams and cars. I know that I did and I was expecting that it would take only around five races or so for Daniel to be right up there. I can't imagine the crisis of confidence that Daniel must be facing ATM. He's a top driver, a top guy and he'll need to keep hammering away as best he can until the new car arrives then he'll be on an even footing...hopefully. Other drivers who changed teams are being used for comparisons but that is, at best, a spurious exercise as no two F1 cars are alike. "

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7. Posted by USA1, 09/07/2021 22:37

"Daniel should never have left Red Bull, Max and Daniel where perfect team mates !"

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8. Posted by F1 Yank, 09/07/2021 17:06

"Not so sure whether RIC is having a slow transition or in comparison Norris has moved himself into a top slot due to his incredible performance to date. I expected RIC to have a slightly difficult season and it seems so. I also expected this of ALO but he seems to have been able to get a good hold on the Renault/Alpine and I am surprised. I believe I remember a Sky Sports comment referred to another driver talking to RIC and stating "it's a bit of a strange car isn't it?" I think the reference was to the McLaren but I could be mistaken. RIC has shown glimpses of great driving, especially during the starts and caution restarts but I can't argue that the broadcasts really haven't been giving him that much camera time. I did expect him to do better than Renault but currently that isn't the case."

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