Ricciardo looking to ‘extract last few tenths’ from McLaren

Date published: June 19 2021 - Henry Valantine

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo said he is now at a point where he is just trying to get the “last few tenths” from his McLaren to maximise his potential and become fully competitive.

The Australian said recently that he is aiming to use the first triple-header of the season to fully bed into his car and use his time behind the wheel wisely, as team-mate Lando Norris pipped him once again in qualifying in France on Saturday.

While he feels the team have made a “step back” in performance relative to other cars, he feels closer to being happy with what he is driving.

“I felt like we had good pace today. From this morning, I feel like we were definitely a top 10 car today,” Ricciardo told reporters after qualifying.

“It was a bit hairy with the medium there, not knowing if that was enough [to get through to Q3], but we really did want to qualify on the medium – that was important.

“We were just missing a tenth to get a few positions but after that, to get into the top seven we didn’t have that pace.

“Everything felt decent, it wasn’t bad but everyone’s fast right now. It wasn’t a bad day, I crossed the line and I honestly felt that was a better lap than tenth, but obviously everyone’s doing a decent job.”

Ricciardo added that he’s still working to try and swerve the MCL35M on his side of the garage to be tweaked more towards his liking, but he’s having to balance doing so with trying to get the most from what he has underneath him.

“I’m still obviously trying to perfect this car from my point of view, but I’m also trying to feed back some info to the team where I feel it’s lacking, or what I feel is holding back potential,” he explained.

“Generally, my comfort here this weekend has been alright. I wouldn’t say I’ve been stuck or lost in a peculiar zone of driving style, it’s just trying to extract those last few tenths now – that’s what will be the next test.”

Stand out from the crowd with McLaren merchandise via the official Formula 1 store

Norris again out-qualified his more experienced team-mate by snatching P8, but his qualifying session was interrupted when he was told to pit before starting a flying lap in Q2, without an explanation as to why at the time, but he cleared up the simple issue afterwards.

“In Q2 it was a couple of problems we had putting fuel into the car properly, where we just didn’t have enough fuel,” the Brit explained to reporters in the paddock.

“[It was] a slight issue, not ideal but it didn’t cost us – I did a good enough lap on lap one in Q2.

“It’s something to forget about for now, we don’t need to kick ourselves too much. We’re going to head into tomorrow and see what we can do better.”

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