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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo trying to figure things out after 'pretty dark' Silverstone race

Daniel Ricciardo is still trying to understand what led to his struggles at the British Grand Prix, and hopes to benefit from the addition of the Sprint at the next race on the calendar in Austria.

Ricciardo
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To news overview © XPB

Daniel Ricciardo admits that he and the McLaren team are still trying to understand why they lacked pace at the British Grand Prix.

The Australian had another tough weekend at Silverstone, having qualified in 14th before finishing the race only one spot higher in P13.

With the next event on the calendar taking place only a few days later in Austria, Ricciardo acknowledges that there has not been much time to assess what went wrong.

"It was definitely a pretty dark race," Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We just [were] very, very, very slow, a long way off the pace, and we're still trying to get to the bottom of it, to be honest. We're still trying to figure it out.

"In a way, I like having a back-to-back so we can try to strike back, but obviously it doesn't give us a whole lot of time to diagnose what happened on the weekend, so we're still working at it."

Despite this, Ricciardo is looking forward to the return of the Sprint at the Red Bull Ring.

"Knowing that we get straight in [on Friday] with the Sprint format, I do like that," he added.

"There's kind of less nonsense going in, and hopefully the car's in a better place."

Why Silverstone was a "puzzling" race for Ricciardo

When asked what exactly he was feeling or not feeling behind the wheel of the MCL26, Ricciardo explained that it was mainly grip-related, but he still remains in the dark about why this was happening.

"The most simple way [to explain it] is like a lack of grip," he said.

"It wasn't like, 'Oh, I'm not really feeling like I can hang on to the car here or I'm worried that I'm just going to spin or do something', it was just I simply didn't feel I had the same grip as every car around me.

"So I was just operating at a different level from that point of view. And it was cumulative, like over the course of around the lap. It wasn't just one corner where we were really bad and the rest were okay.

"It was just, as I said, kind of felt like a lack of grip everywhere. So, certainly a puzzling race and obviously a frustrating one.

"And there are certainly opportunities ahead, but we'll come back. Maybe it's a good thing not having too long to dwell on it. We're back on track now."

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

How much is down to Ricciardo and how much is the team?

Ricciardo believes that the process of improvement involves a combination of his own work along with that of the McLaren team.

"It's obviously a team sport and, yes, there's a lot of focus on us as the drivers and controlling the vehicle, but no, I don't think any driver has ever won a race 100 per cent off his own back or done anything like that," Ricciardo commented.

"It definitely is collaborative. I felt like the last few weekends were, I would say, better and everything was kind of looking like it was in a much better direction.

"We were kind of getting a little bit of consistency, and then you throw Silverstone in there and it was like 'Okay, what the hell has happened?'.

"There are still a lot of things that are confusing. And it's not two, three tenths off and you could say the set-up wasn't there, or maybe that, but when you're talking [the] margins that they are sometimes…

"Obviously, I've driven cars long enough to know that it's not like, 'Ah, I’m just lifting a little bit too much in that corner, or this or that'.

Progress could happen at "any weekend"

In terms of when any progress may occur, Ricciardo is not putting a time scale on it, but understandably hopes that it will happen sooner rather than later.

"It's just important that we obviously stay kind of committed to it now and obviously try to figure it out," the 33-year-old reflected.

"So, we are. It could happen any weekend. Obviously I'd love [it to happen] sooner rather than later. But in terms of me feeling like… If everything's sweet and we're dialled in, then I 100 per cent have faith that I can do it.

"I'm kind of just waiting and hoping that it's going to be right. Obviously I'm putting the work in as well. But yeah, it could happen this weekend [in Austria], it could not, but I'm not looking too far ahead at what Sunday might look like.

"But I'll hop in the car again [on Friday], and obviously Silverstone after today, after we kind of finish everything that we got to do and put it behind us, and get in the car [this weekend] with a nice mindset, and try to have some fun and go hard."

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F1 2022 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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