McLaren are considering building a new chassis for Daniel Ricciardo to alleviate his struggles, according to a report.
Ricciardo, by his own admission, is enduring a tough start to life at McLaren, having been outperformed by a wide margin so far in comparison to his team-mate, Lando Norris.
It was predicted by many that the experienced Australian, a seven-time F1 race winner, would arrive from Renault and establish himself as McLaren‘s team leader among the drivers.
But it has been quite the opposite so far, with Norris having enjoyed a terrific start to the season with two podium finishes in the first five grands prix that have put him third in the World Championship standings – behind only Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Of course, adjusting to a new team is not easy and Ricciardo is not the only racer with stacks of F1 knowhow to have found the going tough in 2021 with Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso also not having achieved the results they would have wanted up to now.
Ricciardo has been particularly open about his difficulties in driving the car, saying after the Monaco Grand Prix, in which he finished 12th and was lapped by Norris, that is he is “not convinced” he is able to match what the Briton is capable of on the telemetry at the moment.
Ricciardo is lapped by Norris
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 23, 2021
Therefore, say the Italian version of Motorsport.com, there is “talk of the possibility of replacing the chassis – the most drastic choice to dispel the doubts related to the performance of the car” in time for the next race in Azerbaijan.
Having said he needed a few days after Monaco to clear his head following a weekend when he took a step backwards from a more promising display in Spain, Ricciardo recalled a story from his youth that exemplified how he will not get too down about his current predicament.
“My relationship with the racing world has always been one of.. love-hate,” said the 31-year-old. “Some days, this sport is the thing I like best in the world, other days I have no answers.
“I think this particular relationship of hate and love started in my first year of karting.
“I remember I was about to line up at the start of a regional race and the engine didn’t start. That day I was on the front row, which for me was a great moment, and that was a hard blow.
“After two days, I went back to the same track, I pushed the kart and it turned on, and I learned then that racing cars can be very rude.
“Who knows, maybe we go to Baku, I go out for first practice and I’m back in the position where I want to be.”