Ricciardo says strong performances with McLaren are ‘not as far away as they seem’
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo is confident that his best form is just around the corner but admits that he needs to get in "fully in tune" with the car, as he looks to build on a rocky start to the season.
Ricciardo's 2022 season has yielded two top-10 finishes, most recently P8 ahead of team mate Lando Norris in Azerbaijan. The Australian driver trails Norris by 35 points in the championship but struck a defiant tone as he spoke about his difficult start to 2022.
“Stripping it back to the core, I still know what I can do. I still believe I have it and it's not a place of low confidence or low self-esteem where I'm like I don't think it's possible.
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“I think at this sport, everything operates at such a high level and if something is a little bit out of tune, then it can have a little bit of a carry-on effect. It's really for me to get back into that place when I'm fully in tune with the car, and then it will come.
“I have felt it before. It could come at any circuit, and I think from then, then it will probably start to build again, some nice rhythm.”
Ricciardo also explained that some of the "unfamiliar" characteristics of the 2021 car have carried over to this season's machine. But he pointed to his improved form at the end of last season as a sign of what he could achieve.
“I mean, even with the changes this year, there is certainly still some things that carry over from last year’s car, and some things the car did last year, it still does this year,” he said.
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“So, it's still trying to get on top of that. But it's a place where I didn't really find these issues in the past, that's why it's something a little bit new or unfamiliar for me. But as you said, it's taken longer than I would've liked to get the results and consistency week in, week out, but it's not far off.
“I don't want to keep talking about Monza, but there were times last year where I was able to show that I can make it work with this car. And I do think were closer this year than last year funnily enough, so just going to cross the line now with less people in front of me and more behind me and everything is sweet.”
Ricciardo and McLaren will be hoping that he makes it work this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix, the scene of his maiden F1 victory back in 2014.