Daniel Ricciardo has not been able to find the level of performance he showed at the Renault Formula 1 since he joined McLaren. But Andreas Seidl, director of the British team, thinks he has found the problem that hinders the Australian from adapting properly to his F1 car.
Daniel Ricciardo, who was recruited by McLaren to replace Carlos Sainz Jr, was probably not expecting such a complicated adjustment. The Australian is having trouble getting used to his car and his race results are suffering as a result (eighth in the overall Formula 1 standings).
If the 31-year-old driver hopes to recover quickly in order to bring the British team the performance it expected before signing him, Andreas Seidl thinks he has put the finger on the problem of the former Renault driver, a case of trying to adjust to a very different car compared to the Renault.
“Well, first of all, one of the reasons why I love this sport, and why you love this sport, is because it’s a human sport, and we love the emotions of the team members or the drivers after good or bad sessions or races.
“That’s why I think you have to put Daniel’s statements after qualifying into context. As I said before, when we look at the data we have a clear idea of why Daniel could not produce the necessary time in Q2 to progress to Q3, especially in braking techniques.
“It’s not coming naturally for Daniel. And it’s obviously a problem that takes time until you can recalibrate yourself to make it natural for you.
“But at the same time, it’s also the task for us to see what we can do on the car, change it, to make it more natural for him so that he can extract the performance that we’re all used to from him again, with a clear objective of not losing the overall performance of the car through that,”
Teammate Lando Norris and former McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr had been noted in the past to having very similar driving styles, making it easy for the McLaren design team and pit crew to create a car suited to both drivers.
What is clear this year is that Ricciardo is very different to these two drivers in terms of style, and we might not see the true performance of the Australian for some time yet.