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Ricciardo explains where McLaren approach differed to Red Bull

After a difficult two years at McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo will return to Red Bull as a reserve driver in 2023, having previously left the team at the end of 2018.

Daniel Ricciardo has explained where the engineering approach taken by McLaren differed to Red Bull. Ricciardo spent much of his junior racing career under the Red Bull fold, having driven for the then-called Toro Rosso team in F1 before being promoted to the main outfit in 2014. After five seasons – during which he claimed seven of his eight race wins – the Australian left to join Renault before moving to McLaren two years later. His stint with the Woking-based outfit proved challenging, and a mutual decision was made between Ricciardo and the team to end his multi-year contract early. Ricciardo will now return to Red Bull as a reserve driver for 2023. When asked about the differences in engineering approaches taken by McLaren and Red Bull, Ricciardo acknowledged that the former tended to spend more time at the circuit in the hope of gaining more lap time.

Ricciardo on McLaren's 'attention to detail'

"I think, from an effort [point of view], it's the same [approach between the teams]," Ricciardo told the Beyond The Grid podcast. "I feel like we would stay longer at the track at McLaren, and maybe because we're trying to find a few more tenths than a Red Bull, especially [during] the last year or two. "But there's a lot of attention to detail. We didn't not get it right because we were all just leaving early and being lazy; it was probably the opposite, where sometimes we probably put too much thought into it and too much effort. "And then it was like, sometimes you've got to get back to basics."

How McLaren changed approach mid-season

Ricciardo admits that he and McLaren decided to change their approach slightly at a certain point in 2021, something that he believes helped them to make some steps forwards. "After the summer break last year, we tried to just strip it back and be like, 'Okay, maybe there's too much information. We're overcomplicating it where I'm driving consciously, as opposed to subconsciously,'" the 33-year-old said. "I'm thinking through the corner where I should just be doing it, so we did acknowledge that and I think we did make progress, especially [in the] second half of last year. "Look, if I knew what we didn't get right as a unit, then I guess we would have found a way. So I can't be critical of the way we tried to attack it, and we put in hours and hours and really did try to solve the puzzle. "But I guess on, both sides, we can ultimately now just put our hand up and say, 'Look, we we tried and didn't quite succeed.'"

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