Daniel Ricciardo feels at the Portuguese GP he “highlighted” areas of his McLaren that need tweaking and will now work on set-up changes.
After suffering a shock Q1 elimination at Portimao, all the pressure was on Ricciardo come race day as he continued the adaptation process at McLaren.
And in a Portuguese Grand Prix where he wanted to take risks from the start, Ricciardo was able to sign off for the weekend on a much happier note as he fought his way up to P9 at the chequered flag.
Perhaps more importantly though, the Aussie “highlighted” areas of the car which he felt could be brought more to his liking with set-up changes, rather than upgrades.
“I managed to make it into the pen with happier thoughts today. It was a better race – hard to do worse than yesterday,” he told reporters.
“I think everything I planned in my head to execute in the race I was more or less able to do that. I wanted to attack on the first lap, take a few risks and I felt I did and it paid off.
“Then just chipped away through the race. I think some strong points – in parts of the race we had really good promise and some others not so much, but I feel like those actually highlighted some things which are in the car which I’m still asking for.
“I think we could find some actually just with set-up and not necessarily an update, so I think there are a few things which I probably understood today. I can probably just fine-tune the car to help in these areas.
“Five days’ time we are back in the car and maybe we can try a few different set-ups.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 2, 2021
Ricciardo admitted the disappointment of qualifying was “hard to shake”, but was able to release a chunk of it in the race and will now work on getting the rest out of his system before the Spanish Grand Prix.
“It’s hard to shake when you believe in yourself and know what you’re capable of, and then when you don’t execute it breaks you,” he explained.
“We get 20-something chances a year, it’s not actually that much, so when you don’t get it right, even waiting seven days is a long time to live with it.
“Today was better, I was able to release some of that, and the next few days probably I’ll just do some hard training to release any more excess energy I have, have some fun and then go into Barcelona with a fresh mindset.
“I know what I’m capable of, so I just have to have my eyes forward and not look behind.”