Ricciardo says MCL36 weaknesses outnumber strengths

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, passes Nicholas Latifi, Williams. Bahrain, March 2022.

Lando Norris ahead as McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo passes the Williams of Nicholas Latifi. Bahrain, March 2022.

According to Daniel Ricciardo, there are more things wrong than right with McLaren’s 2022 challenger, the MCL36.

McLaren’s performance in the Barcelona shakedown provided early hope of another positive season for the Woking outfit, but an unexpected issue with the brakes left them faltering at the Bahrain test and the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ricciardo, who missed all three days of the Bahrain test due to Covid, suffered Q1 elimination at the season-opener, before going on to finish the race P14, with team-mate Lando Norris following him over the line in P15.

For a team looking to take another step back towards contending for regular wins, Bahrain was a far from ideal start, but are those issues with the brakes an example of how McLaren can turn things around quickly with one big fix?

Well, Ricciardo does not seem confident, the Aussie revealing that currently there are more weak areas to the MCL36 than there are positive.

Lando Norris ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Bahrain March 2022.
McLaren team-mates Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo follow each other in the race. Bahrain March 2022.

“I’m glad we got the race distance in, especially for me it’s really the first race distance I’ve done all year,” he told the Formula 1 website.

“I tried every compound as well during the race, so yeah, some interesting things to feel. Also, some places where I felt the car was good. But overall, I think we have a few more weaknesses than strengths.”

There seemed to be a trend of the Mercedes-powered teams, McLaren included, struggling in Bahrain.

The Mercedes works team did manage to get a driver on the podium as Lewis Hamilton finished P3, though that came after both Red Bulls were forced to retire late on.

But as for McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin, all three teams failed to score a point.


Ricciardo did reveal that he felt a lack of straight line speed, though he did not want to point the finger directly at the Mercedes engine powering his MCL36.

“I think we’re certainly not the strongest at the moment it seems, I also feel like maybe there is a few things that we as a team could look into, like drag efficiency,” said Ricciardo.

“I felt difficulties in overtaking in some places. We definitely lacked a little bit of…straight line speed which probably didn’t help, but that could also be drag and other things – I just don’t want to point to power at the moment, it’s not just one thing.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Ricciardo says more weakness than strengths with MCL36

Daniel Ricciardo says there are more weaknesses than strengths with the MCL36.