Ricciardo says lack of pace was ‘track specific’ after coming home outside the points in Miami
McLaren were one of just three teams who didn’t manage to pick up points in Miami, with Daniel Ricciardo crossing the line in P11 only to drop to 13th after a post-race time penalty was applied. While on paper it was a disappointing result after the team’s upturn in fortune at the last two races, the Australian was able to at least understand the causes of his lack of pace, with the specifics of the Miami International Autodrome getting some of the blame.
Things started going wrong for Ricciardo in qualifying, when a downshifting issue kept him in the garage longer than planned in Q2. That left him without time to fully prepare his tyres on a rushed out-lap with the clock ticking, and a lowly P14 grid slot as a result.
While the team opted to start him on the preferred medium tyre strategy, he ran the longest first stint of anyone on that compound in a bid to move up the order. But pitting before the Safety Car dropped him back down the field – and with little to lose, he pitted again under the Safety Car for some soft rubber, but to no avail.
“Unfortunately, the track played a bit more to our weaknesses than our strengths, so yeah, what do you do. We’ll keep at it, there’s a lot of things to observe, address and we’ll keep our eyes forward,” said a visibly sweaty Ricciardo after the race. “I think this track certainly played to our weaknesses. Lots of long corners, lots of long straights, so we’ve got to work on that.”
To add to his woes, he was adjudged to have gained an advantage when running wide through Turn 12 as he fought hard with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen after the resumption of the race, earning himself a time penalty that dropped him to P13.
“It is tough when you do a long race like that and don’t get in the points but what’s done is done, we’ll keep working. Barcelona, everyone will have a few updates, hopefully ours sprinkle a little more juice on it than others and we’ll come back again,” continued the Australian, as he turned his attention to the next race. “Barcelona should suit us a bit more, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Barcelona played host to the teams back in February for pre-season running, with McLaren looking in good shape around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Spanish Grand Prix is the traditional venue where the first big sets of upgrades arrive, so that combined with a track layout that seems to suit the MCL36 could well springboard Ricciardo back into the points for what would be just the second time this season.