Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed some good performance from his McLaren for only four laps of the Turkish Grand Prix, the rest was “hard”.
Following Ricciardo’s elimination during Q1 at Istanbul Park, McLaren made the call to take a fourth new power unit of the season for their driver, dropping him to the back of the grid.
From there progress proved very challenging in the damp conditions, with even a switch to fresh intermediates failing to bring Ricciardo much joy.
Ultimately crossing the line P13, Ricciardo accepted that this simply was not a good outing.
“I think we had maybe four laps in the race where we had good pace but the rest was hard,” he told reporters.
“In the beginning we struggled a lot with front grip, so it was really hard to stay close to the others, and then we pitted for a new tyre.
“After that I didn’t have great rear grip to start and was struggling but after a while it came good. We had probably four good laps in that stint where I could feel like I could really push on the tyre, which was what I was looking for. Of the entire race, that was the positive.
“I got a bit excited because I thought maybe it will just keep getting better and better, but it lasted four laps and then the rear dropped away again, so the last ten laps were a bit painful, just trying to hang on.
“Obviously, we were fighting for the points and that strategy was our best chance, but it was just really unpredictable. I know others went longer, with one going the entire race on one set, but at the end I saw my tyres and they were on their last legs.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t a strong race. Bring on Austin!”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) October 10, 2021
Lando Norris was able to score points in the other McLaren, describing his P7 finish as the best form of “damage limitation” possible at what proved to be a difficult track for McLaren.
“A very long and tough race today mainly because of the conditions,” he said.
“It was very difficult to keep the inters in a good window during the race, but I think we achieved everything we could in the end, so I have to be happy with P7.
“It was damage limitation for us at this track, but we came away with the best result that we could. So, happy with that and we just need to make more improvements for the next one [in Austin].”
Winners and losers from the Turkish Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen will be pleased with their races, but even after rising through the field, Lewis Hamilton was one of the big losers in the Turkish Grand Prix.