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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo explains what F1 drivers mean by 'feel of the car'

The McLaren driver has opened up on the feelings a Formula 1 driver gets when they are assessing the balance of the car.

Ricciardo Hungary 2021
To news overview © McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo has explained the sensations Formula 1 drivers feel when they are in the car and judging whether the handling of their machine is to their liking.

Ricciardo has driven with five different teams in F1 during his 10 years in the sport and has particularly struggled to get the right feeling this year since he joined McLaren, whereas his teammate Lando Norris has been on an incredible run of form.

"The feeling is, 'Whoa', that's basically it," Ricciardo told Motorsport.com. "Something that we feel in our buttocks, in our hands and because we're strapped to the car, we move the car.

"We are, like the expression, really at one with the car. Everything the car does, we feel with our bodies and if the car does something that does not create a pleasant or familiar feeling, then it's difficult for us to respond to it in the right way.

"Then you are always one step behind. The McLaren gives me a different sensation and feeling, which is new to me. I try to get used to that."

Ricciardo has scored less than half Norris' points haul at the halfway mark of the championship this year and has often been off the pace compared to his British teammate. He admits the current generation F1 cars are complicated, which has made life tough for him.

"It's not always easy and again, if you don't feel like you don't have the confidence then you see something and you think, 'Ah, I can't do that', because then I would spin or I have to brake," said Ricciardo.

"So it all comes down to that feeling, which then gives you confidence and then you can take your performance to the next level. But every driver has a different style. Even if you have the same adjustment, you still do not get the same result because we're all slightly different.

"So there are always things about the car that you have to adjust to make them fit your strengths. It's complicated, these cars are complicated."

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