In 2022, Ricciardo's struggles with McLaren F1 made him occasionally 'a touch too lost'

Regarding his analysis of his struggles at McLaren over the previous two Formula 1 seasons, Daniel Riccardo claims he was occasionally "a little too deep and a little too lost."

Daniel Ricciardo in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/ McLaren)
By Mahaksh Chauhan | Nov 29, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


After two challenging Formula 1 seasons as a McLaren driver, the Australian decided to leave the team following the most recent Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ricciardo’s victory at Monza in 2021 was a notable high point, although for the most part, teammate Lando Norris outperformed him. Due to this, the three-year contract was ultimately cancelled early as McLaren attempted to replace him with fellow Australian Oscar Piastri for 2023.

Lack of pace

On the most recent episode of the In the Fast Lane podcast from the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Ricciardo discussed his struggles at McLaren over the previous two years. He acknowledged that overanalyzing his lack of speed had become a problem and had eventually caused him to go off his usual driving course. I’ve definitely given it some thought, he replied. “I feel like I’ve already started to let go of it now that the season is over. But since it is a little bit of a…, I’m sure I’ll continue to consider it over time. I don’t want to say it’s a mystery, but the kind of ongoing challenges I experienced were, at least to me, extremely unusual.

We all have bad races, but to have the amount I did and the level it was at times, like a second per lap off the pace, made me pause. “I believe it came to me already last year, during the summer vacation, that I was driving quite consciously. It was no longer organic. I lacked one step. I think we’re attempting to do too much at that point, I thought. “One memory that keeps coming to me is my very first qualifying session with McLaren. I am better than Lando. “I don’t know how many times I out-qualified him during the two years, but it wasn’t much. I still didn’t truly know the car.

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“I would have been better off if I had done it when I was probably just driving more on instinct and feel and didn’t know much about the car. “That is not meant as a criticism of anyone or anything. Instead, the question is: Did we overthink our poor weekends to the point where we started driving or setting up the automobile in a certain way? We would have undoubtedly gotten a little too far and lost at some point. Ricciardo was honest in admitting that the vehicle revealed some of his flaws, but refrained from totally attributing his failure to the degree of analysis.

Would I have killed it if we hadn’t gone that far under the water? In this car, I still don’t think I could have killed it, he continued. It undoubtedly revealed some of my flaws. I must acknowledge that. But I believe that we underperformed because we sometimes got mired down in it all. And it really is that. more so right now. “Race weekends are so hectic and busy. You only have a finite quantity of energy, whether it be mental, physical, or anything else. By the time you get into the car, you’re probably already a little bit fried if you’re expending too much mental energy trying to analyse things.



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