Daniel Ricciardo reckons a mistake at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix cost him a chance to fight the Haas drivers and McLaren teammate Lando Norris for more points.
Ricciardo crossed the line in ninth position at the Red Bull Ring, marking only his third points finish of the season and first since Azerbaijan a month ago.
But with Kevin Magnussen, Norris and Mick Schumacher just up the road, he was left to lament a lock-up under braking for Turn 1 that flat-spotted his front-left tyre.
Without the error, which led to him making his first pit-stop earlier than his main rivals, Ricciardo thinks he could have challenged for a better finishing position.
Ricciardo's lock-up costs him early in the race
Reflecting on his race, the Australian was also left wondering why some of the car balance "strengths" he felt during the previous day's Sprint disappeared in the Grand Prix.
"I flat-spotted the front-left at the start. I don't even remember, but I think the team said [it happened] into Turn 1," Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I think it worked, because I made a position [on Norris], but then I screwed the tyre, and I was struggling a lot that stint. But even after that, I still didn't really get those [cornering] strengths back.
"I wish I had a couple more tenths to put me in the fight with the Haas' and Lando, but I think on a weekend where we weren't strong, really ever, we did well to walk away with the double points."
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Ricciardo's battle to get on top of the McLaren
Ricciardo, who has struggled to piece together strong results since joining McLaren in 2021, admits he is still a long way off feeling comfortable with the balance of the team's current car.
"I think the difficulty is that it's pretty inconsistent," Ricciardo went on to comment.
"I know winds and things do affect the cars and that, but I remember seeing one lap I did an 11.2 and the next lap a 10.5, so massive swings where I'll find half a second just like that, but then the next lap I'll drop off again.
"[It's so] on the edge of grip, so that makes it tricky to really know what's gonna go on and just kind of build on something.
"I think also outright pace, for sure there's still a little bit more to find, but we got points – we're happy with that."
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