Daniel Ricciardo admits that his struggles over the Miami Grand Prix weekend reminded him of races where he and McLaren faced similar difficulties last year.
Barring the high point of his win at the Italian Grand Prix, the Australian had a mostly challenging 2021 campaign, as he tried to adapt to his new car in his debut season with the Woking-based squad.
There have been mixed fortunes for both the driver and the team so far in 2022, and it was a particularly tough event for Ricciardo, who finished the race down in 13th after qualifying in P14.
Can Ricciardo's fortunes improve in Spain?
McLaren scored no points at the first race of the year in Bahrain, and Ricciardo recorded a DNF in Saudi Arabia due to a mechanical issue.
His first points came at his home event in Australia, and he added to his tally by finishing P6 in the Sprint at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, prior to a more difficult weekend in Miami.
When asked by RacingNews365.com about his prospects for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, given that McLaren's performance often appears to be track-specific, Ricciardo explained: "I think [we'll be] better.
"It's still hard to say, but I really hope it's better than this weekend. [We've] certainly [been] a bit more on the back foot.
"It felt a little bit more like last year, kind of struggling in some cases. Some of those races like Zandvoort, this circuit has some similarities with [that].
"This kind of felt like a similar race, where we were kind of there but never really enough to make a big impression.
"I think Spain can be better. [It] was a better circuit for me last year, so hopefully that means something."
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Ricciardo thought he had finished higher in Miami
In terms of his race in Miami, Ricciardo admits that the humid temperatures made it an added challenge.
He also says that he had initially thought that he was higher than 13th when he crossed the line.
"We had a tough one," Ricciardo said of his race.
"Everyone obviously works hard today. It is hot; drivers, mechanics, everyone's feeling the heat.
"Actually, when I crossed the line, I honestly thought I was 10th. It's hard to know [with] battles, there's cars going off here and there.
"I was kind of doing a calculation in my head, thinking that enough cars had gone off or I had passed to be somewhere inside the points. But we came up short.
"I don't think there [were] any 'what could have beens' today, we were just not quick enough. [We were] just hanging on, and I think when everyone's in a tow, we're still lacking a bit on the straights."
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