In a recent interview with formula1.com, Daniel Ricciardo admitted that he was unable to fully grasp the reasons for his struggles during his two years with McLaren. Prior to joining the team, Ricciardo was highly regarded as one of the best drivers in Formula 1, having put together several impressive campaigns with Red Bull and Renault. His move to McLaren was met with excitement in the paddock, but the partnership never truly got off the ground.
Despite Ricciardo’s victory in Monza, which remains McLaren’s only race win in the past decade, he was unable to come close to matching his teammate’s final points total. Ricciardo discussed the challenges he faced at McLaren, stating that he was unable to fully understand the reasons for his struggles.
“If you struggle with a corner on the exit, normally it’s a product of what’s happened through the corner that’s put you in a position of, let’s say, difficulty on the exit.
“Most difficulties start on the entry – maybe not all, but most.
“It is kind of an entry thing, but it’s more just like a feel and a limitation. I also look back at my very first race with McLaren. I out-qualified Lando.
“That was when I was still fairly ‘green’ with the car if you know what I mean. I kind of wonder, did we just get lost along the way?
“Did I then start to try too hard, did we try to engineer it too hard…
“Something that I couldn’t really grasp. I don’t know, it’s an interesting one.”
Ricciardo will spend the 2023 season on the sidelines with Red Bull, evaluating the opportunities that may arise as the year progresses. It’s clear that Ricciardo is capable of performing at a very high level, but he will need to convince other teams that his time at McLaren was simply a blip in an otherwise successful career.