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"It's not as bad as it seems," insists Ricciardo

NEWS STORY
11/08/2022

While insisting that his record at McLaren this year is not as bad as it appears, Daniel Ricciardo admits "of course I want to have a better season".

Effectively taken on as the team's number one, almost from the outset Daniel Ricciardo found himself being out-performed by Lando Norris.

Most put this down to the fact that the MCL35M didn't suit the Australian, something both he and the Woking outfit have confirmed. Nonetheless, though out-qualified by his teammate 15-7 and finishing 45 points adrift, there was that win at Monza.

This year however, despite an all-new car courtesy of the regulations overhaul, Norris continues to dominate his experienced teammate, and currently 57 points adrift of his teammate, Ricciardo has also been out-qualified 11-2.

Speaking to Speedcafe before the numerous reports that McLaren will not be retaining him appeared, following the shock statement from Oscar Piastri, Ricciardo defended his record with the Woking outfit.

"It's one of those ones where like, everyone has their things that go on, you know, like away from the paper," he said. "Whether it's like in Miami qualifying where we had issues and had to push then the out lap, and then the tyres are too hot, so we were never going to get through Q3, Q2, whatever it was.

"So there's little things like that which, again, don't just happen to me... I'm sure every driver goes through the bad times in the year. But it's just a sport where for sure the paper talks, but it's not the full story sometimes."

Of course, his season got off to the worst possible start when he was forced to miss the second test due to COVID, the Australian still suffering the after-effects at the season opening Grand Prix.

A clutch issue in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was following by a decent 6th in his home race while at Imola his race was compromised by a first lap clash and in Monaco he crashed in practice after the team went the wrong way in terms of set-up.

It was following the Spanish Grand Prix, in which he finished 12th, that Zak Brown made the infamous comment about not living up to expectations, however if this was meant to gee-up the Australian it had the opposite effect.

Including the Barcelona race, Ricciardo had made it into Q3 on three occasions, in the seven races since he has only made it twice. Similarly, in the opening six races he scored 11 points, while since Brown's comments he has scored just 8.

Despite his insistence last month at being "committed to McLaren" and Zak Brown's claim that his relationship with the Australian has "never been better", the writing was clearly on the wall.

However, as we wait to see how this plays out, the matter probably to be decided by the Contract Recognition Board and then squabbled over by the drivers' and teams' respective lawyers, Ricciardo is adamant...

"Of course, I want to have a better season. Even sometimes I catch myself; like, even Paul Ricard, I was like ‘oh, but it's just ninth'.

"You know, I was maybe not that stoked on the race. But then I kind of looked it over and then looked back, and it was better than it seemed.

"Ultimately, yeah, it's still not going to get me jacked up on a Sunday night and wanting to go out and party and celebrate it. It's a work in progress, but it's not as bad as it always seems, for sure."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 10/08/2022 1:03

"Regarding a past race some weeks ago now....' Is that all he's got? I'm faster'. Says a great deal that's not often commented on. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Superbird70, 08/08/2022 19:58

"'tis but a scratch'"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by alvarezh3, 08/08/2022 14:10

"James Key's technical director jobs (from Wikipedia):
2005 to 2009- Midland F1 Racing, then Spiker and with Force India.
2010 to 2012- Sauber
2013 to ? Toro Rosso
2019 to present- McLaren

The record of the cars he has been responsable for:
2006 Midland/Spyker...........finished 9th
2007 Spyker.........................finished 10th
2008 Force India..................finished 10th
2009 Force India..................finished 10th
2010 Sauber.........................finished 11th
2011 Sauber.........................finished 8th
2012 Sauber.........................finished 7th
2013 Toro Rosso..................Finished 9th (1)
2014 Found no data
2015 Found no data
2016 Found no data
2017 Found no data
2018 Found no data
2019 McLaren......................finished 4th (2)
2020 McLaren......................finished 5th
2021 McLaren......................finished 4th
2022 McLaren......................So far 5th

(1) He designed for a few years but could not find the data.

(2) Although under contract, car most likely not his design.

You can argue that Norris and Ricciardo are driving the same car, but it is notable that Key's design are not the best in the business. And although Lando has been able to adapt much better than Daniel, he has also complained about the car's driving characteristics.

I wouldn't blame Daniel's underperformance against Lando all on him. "

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