Ricciardo lacking feel, not confidence
By Mat Coch
Saturday 9th July, 2022 - 4:05am
Daniel Ricciardo suggests a lack of feel in the car rather than a lack of confidence is what’s constricting his performance at this weekend’s Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix.
Off the back of a disappointing British GP a week ago, Ricciardo found himself bundled out of Qualifying on Friday at the first hurdle.
The Australian recorded just the 16th fastest time though, as it turns out, will start just one spot behind team-mate Lando Norris for Saturday’s Sprint.
Both McLaren drivers struck trouble in Free Practice 1, with Norris grinding to a halt on track while Ricciardo battled DRS issues with his rear wing.
Neither completed a qualifying simulation, with both programmes heavily compromised. It left the pair on the back foot heading in to Qualifying as a result.
“It’s not something we’re massively missing in highspeed or anything, it’s kind of just accumulative, a little bit everywhere,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports.
“I don’t even know if it’s necessarily confidence,” he added.
“I’m not getting into a corner like ‘I’m scared, what do I do?’, it’s more just probably the feel and just the ability to really push it up to that edge.
“And obviously there’s times you overshoot it, but just getting it and balancing it right on the edge of that, it’s a little bit [of an] uncertainty.”
The interrupted running on Friday morning was undoubtedly costly, and could have a hangover for the balance of the weekend.
As the Austrian Grand Prix is a Sprint event, teams were afforded just 60 minutes of track running before cars went into parc ferme conditions at the start of qualifying.
“It’s been a very short weekend,” Ricciardo explained.
“We had a few issues as well in practice to try and solve, so hasn’t really been like a long day of running, and obviously being out in Qualifying 1.
“Out of the box, we didn’t feel rapid, we didn’t feel particularly quick.
“I think we’ve just been struggling a little bit with, I don’t know if it’s things down to like wind, or layout, not too sure yet.
“We’ve got some homework to do and I’ll get stuck in tonight.
“Obviously as frustrating as Qualifying 1 is, it’s a long weekend now, and got [the] Sprint to get after and then the race, so certainly keep my eyes forward.”
While Ricciardo will line up 16th on Saturday, any progress he makes during the 24-lap Sprint will see him move up on the grid for Sunday’s grand prix proper.
Before then, a final 60-minute practice session follows, with the cars remaining in parc ferme conditions, from 20:30 AEST tonight.