Daniel Ricciardo reveals solution to his biggest problem at McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo is slowly coming to grips with the MCL35M, and the Aussie has cited the upcoming triple-header as an opportunity to “fast-track” his progress.

Ricciardo’s maiden season with McLaren has started slowly, with the 31-year-old currently sitting 40 points behind teammate Landon Norris in the drivers’ standings.

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Although he has previously flourished on F1 street circuits, Ricciardo struggled to silence his critics in Monte Carlo and Baku.

The Perth driver placed 12th in Monaco and ninth in Azerbaijan, subsequently slipping down to 10th overall in the drivers’ championship below AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel — who both clinched a podium on Sunday.

Ricciardo was also one of four drivers to crash into the barriers during Saturday’s chaotic qualifying session in Azerbaijan.

Daniel Ricciardo is yet to muster a podium this year.Source:Getty Images

Following a one-week break, the F1 drivers will compete in a European triple-header, with races scheduled in France’s Circuit Paul Ricard and Austria’s famous Red Bull Ring.

Ricciardo believes the three-week marathon will help him become more accustomed to the MCL35M, accelerating his ongoing progress.

“When you’re trying to learn any sport, the best way to learn is practice and doing it, and that’s the unique thing with our sport, we can’t do it every day, we can’t just go out tomorrow and go and run a few laps, so I think having three consecutive weekends and putting in the practice consecutively will fast-track my progress,” Ricciardo said.

“We’ve got the simulator and these things help but in the simulator, the walls don’t hurt. So it’s never quite the same.”

Despite an uninspiring performance in Baku, Ricciardo took comfort from Sunday’s P9 result.

“Just getting the laps in and completing the race — that sounds so basic — but just to keep learning with the car. I think there’s moments in the race that took a bit more from it but I think that’s important and yes, a couple of points,” he said.

“I think in a race like this anything can happen. We could be podium, top five, or we could be in the wall on Lap 1. So we’ll take it, and (I’m) looking forward to a triple-header actually. Getting into a rhythm, getting into three races in a row. Bit more conventional, bit more run-off room, won’t do us any harm.”

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His McLaren is proving difficult to muster.Source:AFP

Norris placed fifth in Baku, with the young Brit currently sitting in fourth in the drivers’ standings — just three points behind third-placed Sergio Perez.

The 2021 F1 season resumes on Sunday June 20 with the French Grand Prix. Lights out are scheduled for 11pm AEST.

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