Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo had another complicated weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix with a crash in free practice on Friday, elimination from Q2 in qualifying on Saturday and a race to forget with a thirteenth place finish on Sunday. The likable Aussie reacts to the press as Pierre Gasly looms as a good replacement for the driver at McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo once again suffered from the comparison with his teammate Lando Norris who managed to finish sixth last weekend at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix when the Australian could not do better than P13 on Sunday. So far this year, Norris has already scored 48 points for his McLaren team, while Daniel Ricciardo – who is struggling for confidence in his MCL36 – has scored just 11 points in seven races.
Interviewed after the Monaco Grand Prix, Ricciardo admitted he had another complicated weekend and will now take a step back before focusing on the next round of the season.
“Obviously it was a difficult weekend – but unfortunately I’ve had experience of that over the last few months – because I’ve had a few over the last 12 months, so I feel like I can deal with that a little bit better,” said the McLaren driver after the event.
“Therefore, I’m going to keep smiling, or at least try to smile, even though deep down I’m obviously disappointed. I’m going to have to look at all this, I’m going to debrief, I’m also going to take a few days off. I have some friends here and I’ll try to enjoy some time away from the track before I concentrate on Baku.”
When asked what went wrong throughout the weekend in Monaco, Ricciardo admitted that he was still not comfortable behind the wheel of his McLaren, which is not compatible when driving at a track like Monaco where confidence in your machine is paramount.
“It’s difficult, to not make mistakes in Monaco you need confidence. You need to be in tune with the car, and if you are not quite there, it can show on the clock. So, as much as I like this place, basically that’s what you need [confidence].”
“I would say there are still things to do, and obviously it’s been a while now, so I wish it wasn’t always the case, but I think the reality is this; I think there will be tracks where it’s going to click right from the first practice and where we’ll be good. I’ll keep working, keep trying, that’s it, I won’t go down without a fight, but of course I don’t want to fight for 13th, I’ll try to get back in the points soon.”
Despite being under contract until 2023 with his team, Daniel Ricciardo is clearly under pressure now, and recent comments from his boss Zak Brown, who said on the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix that the Australian had so far failed to live up to the team’s expectations (read it here) only confirms that the relationship between the Woking-based team and Ricciardo is slowly but surely beginning to crumble.
In the Monaco paddock, several names have been circulating about a possible replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, including that of Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who now knows that he will not be able to join Red Bull after Sergio Perez’s contract extension until 2024.