Daniel Ricciardo expands on if he needs updates on car or it is down to him for a better run plus talks a bit on the chassis side.
For McLaren’s Ricciardo, it has been a mysterious season in 2022, with a lot more downs than ups. Even though, there is a contract in place for 2023, there have been questions over whether the Australian will be on the grid at all and if so at McLaren.
All seems reasonably okay at the moment. For McLaren as a team, some weeks back it was announced they would not introduce any more “major” upgrades for the 2022 season but small tweaks, little changes but they will concentrate on extracting as much performance as possible from their current package between now and the end of the season.
It has been a tough season for them, an irritating one also. It is a two way process in a roundabout way, McLaren as a team need to provide a better car and so upgrades are a prevalent part of that but of course their drivers also need to do their piece also out on the circuit.
Upgrades on car or down to you for better run –
Ricciardo: “It means both. It’s obviously a team sport and, yes, there’s a lot of focus on us as the drivers and controlling the vehicle, but no, I don’t think any driver has ever won a race 100% off his own back or done anything like that. It definitely is collaborative. I felt like the last few weekends were I would say better and everything was kind of looking like it was in a much better direction. And we were kind of getting some, like a little bit of consistency and then you throw Silverstone in there and it was like ‘OK, what the hell has happened?’. There are still a lot of things that are confusing. And it’s not two, three tenths off and you could say the set-up wasn’t there, or maybe that, but when you’re talking like margins that they are sometimes… Obviously, I’ve driven cars long enough to know that it’s not like ‘ah, I’m just lifting a little bit too much in that corner, or this or that’.
“It’s just important that we obviously stay kind of committed to it now and obviously try to figure it out. So, we are. It could happen any weekend. Obviously I’d love sooner rather than later. But in terms of me feeling like… If everything’s sweet and we’re dialled in, then I 100% have faith that I can do it. So I’m kind of just waiting and hoping that it’s going to be right. Obviously I’m putting the work in as well. But yeah, it could happen this weekend, it could not, but I’m not looking too far ahead at what Sunday might look like, but I’ll hop in the car again tomorrow, and obviously Silverstone after today, after we kind of finish everything that we got to do and put it behind us and get in the car tomorrow with a nice mindset and try to have some fun and yeah, go hard. Thanks, I appreciate your commitment to the game, commitment to the support.”
Thorough and exacting was Ricciardo’s statement, however he really did encompass and cover everything. But the season as a whole has not run all that smoothly for him. For most weekends, Ricciardo has had a hiccup somewhere over the three days through practice, qualifying and race day but when everything has been bang on 100% in the first two days, it seems to come good.
A consistently clean weekend is what he needs and badly because they are the weekends that build confidence and momentum. A further question is around their actual chassis for this season, many teams do alternate and no doubt McLaren are up there also in that facet.
Chassis situation –
Ricciardo: “It’s been tricky to like string a good result or weekends of good results [together]. There have been some issues along the way. Of course things like momentum and all this stuff helps. But it’s not like I need three good races in a row to put the car on the podium. If the car is good enough to be on the podium this weekend, then, you know, I believe I can do it. Obviously I’m longing for some consistency just to have better happiness throughout the team and everything. But it’s not that that’s kind of holding me back from getting more out of the weekend or out of the car. Chassis stuff: we do alternate through the season. I think as far as I know every team probably alternates at some point and you cycle through them. So I’m honestly not sure where we’re at at the moment.”
“But honestly, after a weekend like Silverstone these are all things that you look at and of course you look at setup, but it’s not like a two tenths thing or a three tenths thing. It’s something bigger. So then you start to look at, ‘Okay, what else?’ Like is it something big, as you as you touched on, a chassis or something like that. So no stone is going unturned. Trying to think of something for your beard. But anyways, that’s it”.
It is good to see that Ricciardo has lost none of his sense of humour but he like the team wants to get back to where they were as a unit in 2021 fighting at the sharp end and battling with Ferrari for third in the constructors’ championship. This season has seen the Woking team as upper midfield with occasional flashes of brilliance.
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo insisting on staying with McLaren