“Dude, relax, it’s race two” – Daniel Ricciardo is eager to contribute to McLaren as much as Lando Norris after losing out to him in Bahrain and Imola.
Daniel Ricciardo is driving a Mercedes-powered car for the first time and admits to it being difficult. To be fair, he has done really well for himself in his debut McLaren season, with P6 and P7 so far.
His teammate Lando Norris has been with the team for much longer and has been brilliant so far this season. His P4 and P3 performances have lifted McLaren’s spirits, as they face a tough challenge from old foe Ferrari, who look rejuvenated.
“I think it’s been difficult. Saying that, in Bahrain, I out-qualified him in race one. So probably looking at Bahrain, it didn’t look that difficult.
“But then looking at Imola, I wasn’t as quick in quali or the race. I don’t know if it’s that or [because] this car is certainly different to drive. Probably even more so than the Renault when I jumped in that.
“Obviously I’ve never been teammates with Lando before but I do think that he’s probably taken another step and driving really well.
“His [qualifying] lap in Imola was really something. I don’t think there was probably anything more out of the car in that scenario. So he obviously feels very comfortable and you can tell he’s willing to push the car on the limit, for sure.”
IT’S QUALI DAY!!!! Wishing everyone at @McLarenF1 the very best of the luck this weekend. It’s time to send it, LET’S DO THIS!!!! @danielricciardo @LandoNorris 🥳🥳🥳🧡 #FansLikeNoOther #SendIt #PortugueseGP #DR3 #LN4 pic.twitter.com/Rjo6s57Dmu
— Odhran Delanty (@OzDelanty_94) May 1, 2021
McLaren giving Ricciardo time
The Aussie has ambitions to become a world champion and sees McLaren as an ideal platform for that. This explains his disappointment with Bahrain and Imola, but his bosses Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl have assured him that things will improve drastically as he gets used to the car.
“Speaking to Zak and Andreas in the days after the race, they were just like ‘dude, relax, it’s race two’. Like ‘we know you’re talented, we know that you’re capable, so don’t put any unnecessary pressure, we appreciate you want to do well quickly and we like that, but don’t over-drive and start over-thinking’.”