Ricciardo prepared for ‘long slog’ back to form

Henry Valantine
Close-up of Daniel Ricciardo. Barcelona February 2022.

Close-up of Daniel Ricciardo during unofficial pre-season testing. Barcelona February 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo has prepared himself for a long road ahead at McLaren if they are to get back on the pace of their rivals this season.

Team principal Andreas Seidl has admitted Ricciardo and Lando Norris both deserve to drive a better car than what is underneath them at the moment, having lagged behind in Bahrain.

While they improved their position somewhat in Saudi Arabia, Norris pointed out the car has yet to make many improvements, attributing his points finish partially to the Jeddah layout suiting their car better than Sakhir.

Having been on a steady upward trajectory in the past few seasons, the start of 2022 has been something of a crash back down to earth for McLaren, who are looking to change their fortunes as soon as possible.

Ricciardo is trying to remain relaxed about the situation, with he and Norris working together to bring the team forward as quickly as they can, and he wants to remain pragmatic about the time it will take to claw back the deficit to those around them.

“Yeah, I think so, and I think you have to be mentally,” Ricciardo told Motorsport.com when asked if he is prepared for a long slog ahead.

“If in two races’ time we are fighting for top five then okay, we’ll take it and that’s a bonus.

“But I think mentally to remain, let’s say, calm and chilled and level-headed and sensible, you need to realise we are not looking for three or four tenths. It’s over a second if we want to fight for wins.

“So I doubt it will come overnight. We have to just be patient. And I think for the wellness of the team, it’s important to do that. It’s too early to cause a ruckus.”

Ricciardo added that if the team were to rise up and win a race later in the year, as he did at Monza in 2021, he would not be surprised given the people they have in place at McLaren.

When it comes to turning their fortunes around, the Australian reckons it is better late than never.

“If it comes, it will come a bit later than certainly desired,” Ricciardo explained. “Without getting ahead [of myself], if we were to come and win a race at some point this year I wouldn’t actually be surprised because I still believe in the team and the processes we have in place.


“I think we have the people in place to get the job done. And I know I have 100% faith and belief in people like Andreas.

“Obviously in Bahrain it was a bit of a, let’s call it, crisis mode. I think we’ve quickly got ourselves out of that.

“But it’s true we’ve got to turn the ship around and I think he’s at least one of the best guys to do it. So ask me in six months’ time and maybe I won’t be surprised with where we are.”


Ricciardo, Norris 'deserve better McLaren'

Andreas Seidl admits his McLaren drivers deserve to be driving a better car this year.