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Exclusive: Why Ricciardo's signature move could be about to return

Daniel Ricciardo is hoping that F1's new regulations can help him return to being the infamous late-braker he once was, as McLaren begin to move past their early-season brake problems. He has been speaking exclusively to RacingNews365.com.

Daniel Ricciardo is cautiously optimistic that his once-infamous late-braking overtakes could be about to return. The McLaren driver gained a feared reputation amongst F1 drivers for his lunging, late overtakes. Amongst his most memorable moves was a three-car pass at Turn 1 in Baku that helped him to win a dramatic Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017. However, since swapping Red Bull for Renault and then McLaren, and despite winning the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, late lunges have been a lesser-spotted weapon in Ricciardo's armoury. But that could soon change, Ricciardo has teased, with the sport's new regulations offering him some hope that he will be able to return to being a master on the brakes.

Will the late-braking Ricciardo return?

For the first time in nearly 50 years, Brembo now supply all 10 F1 teams with the same brakes, levelling the playing field and giving fresh confidence to the likes of Ricciardo. But McLaren started the 2022 season nursing repeat brake problems at high temperatures that left them well down the order at the season-opening Bahrain GP. In Australia, however, the team introduced an aerodynamic upgrade to their brakes, improving cooling, and helping the team to their first double points finish of the season. When asked if the sport's new rules can help him to rediscover those late-braking talents, Ricciardo told RacingNews365.com : "I think so. I think at least an element of it. "I think there's probably some [blame] attributed to the Akebono (braking system) [used last year], but I think that, also, the characteristics [of the car] didn't allow me to trail the brake really aggressively. "It was probably a combination of not having the feel, and then maybe kind of an aero characteristic of the car, but I have confidence that we're alright."

Ricciardo: The tight, twisty stuff is tough in 2022

While Ricciardo is hoping to find plenty of time under braking this season, the Australian driver has admitted that tight and twisty sections are proving difficult behind the wheel of the 2022-spec cars. McLaren's MCL36 has proven to struggle in the slow-speed corners, with the car more suited to high-speed circuits such as Jeddah and F1's upcoming event in Imola. "At the moment, the way the speed profile works, the lower the speed, the less grip you've got; the higher the speed, the more grip you've got," Ricciardo continued, when asked what is the most challenging aspect of driving the new F1 machines. "It makes the tight, twisty stuff a little more complicated at the moment. The car just feels stiffer as well, so you kind of deal with a bit less grip, and then worse kind of ride characteristics."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 2