Ricciardo looking for answers after ‘really, really sad race’
By Mat Coch
Monday 23rd May, 2022 - 5:34am
Daniel Ricciardo has been left searching for answers after a disappointing performance in the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.
The Australian had started ninth but quickly slipped backwards to find himself four places behind McLaren team-mate Lando Norris, who’d started 11th by the first round of stops.
His pace didn’t improve after swapping to the medium compound tyres and he ended the race a lap down in 12th.
“Yeah, wasn’t there from the start,” he confessed.
“It wasn’t like I had understeer or, I mean I did, but it was just overall a lack of grip.
“I thought at the start of the race it was very, very slow, I thought maybe, I don’t know, temperatures just got too high or something with the tyres.
“You know, the start, you’re obviously fighting other cars and maybe things like that can happen.
“But we did a three-stop race, so I had four sets of tyres today, and was very, very slow on all of them, so not sure how.
“Really, really sad race.”
Ricciardo’s best lap was a 1:27.285s, more than three seconds off the fastest time set by Sergio Perez, and 1.6s adrift of Norris’ best effort.
McLaren brought with it a significant upgrade package, which it believes is working in line with expectations.
The whole team was therefore left scratching its head for answers to Ricciardo’s struggles after the 66-lap race.
“Obviously disappointed with how the race on Daniel’s car went,” said team boss Andreas Seidl.
“[It’s] something we need to understand because all the tyre sets we fitted today he simply struggled with grip compared to all the other cars around him.
“[He] just went backwards in the race, which we need to understand because it’s always a shame that we couldn’t fight with both cars for points.”
For Ricciardo, the performance was so dire he was left hoping the team finds something wrong with the car as it mops up after the event.
“It’s one of those races that it was so slow that you kind of, nearly sounds bad to say, but you hope that something was wrong,” he confessed
“You hope that we find something that is like, ‘oh, that’s why’, because probably more concerning if we don’t.
“It wasn’t like a tenth or two tenths off, it felt like over a second at times.
“I don’t know that for a fact but I certainly saw the cars pass me and pull away very quickly.”
Ricciardo sits 11th in the drivers’ championship with 11 points, less than a third the tally amassed by Norris in the opening six races.
Formula 1 continues this weekend with the Monaco Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 beginning at 22:00 AEST on Friday