Daniel Ricciardo says tyre management issues are behind his inability to maintain a consistent race pace with his McLaren MCL36.
Ricciardo finished the French Grand Prix ninth with teammate Lando Norris seventh, but both were overtaken by an Alpine over the course of the race, with the final result seeing the French squad leapfrog McLaren into fourth place in the Constructors' Championship.
Afterwards, Ricciardo bemoaned his inability to push consistently over a period of several laps.
Ricciardo eyes progress with tyres
"[Esteban] Ocon started behind me, and finished in front of me," Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.com.
"I did whatever I could to hold him off, but I think he was simply just a bit too quick and I wasn't quick enough.
"The first part of the stint, I was able just to kind of hang on, but then the second part, when they're able to stretch their legs, I'm just missing that extra grip and that extra little bit of speed.
"If I put in a good lap time, then the next lap I lose quite a lot, so [I've] still some work to do.
"I don't feel like I'm progressing with the tyre, I feel like I'm always trying to manage [and] still don't seem to get the grip that [Alpine] have."
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Ricciardo struggling in 2022
Ricciardo has struggled badly this year, scoring just 19 points to Norris' 70, fuelling speculation that the Australian might leave McLaren at the end of this season.
In the Constructors' standings, McLaren have slipped to fifth behind Alpine, whose tally of 93 points is four better than that of the Woking-based squad.