McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is confident Daniel Ricciardo will soon be able to perform to his best ability after a difficult start to the season.
After a winter switch from Renault, Ricciardo struggled to match the pace of team-mate Lando Norris in the Bahrain F1 season-opener although damage from an incident with Pierre Gasly was discovered after the race.
But at Imola Ricciardo was once again slower than Norris and only qualified ahead of his team-mate due to Norris' track limit violations.
After Ricciardo finished almost 30 seconds adrift of Norris, Seidl suggested the Australian was still a few races away from being fully integrated with the team.
"These cars are very complex and to find these last two-three-four tenths which makes the difference when you really are comfortable to push these cars to the limit," explained Seidl.
"It is not that straightforward to find and get out of these cars. It takes time. This is not a surprise and it is part of the process of integrating a new driver.
"I think, with the experience Daniel has and the experience we have in the team, it is just a matter of one or two more race weekends and I am sure Daniel will be fully comfortable.”
Norris' pace during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was superior and after he latched onto the back of Ricciardo, the British driver was allowed to move past with the help of team orders.
The move paid off with Norris finishing third to secure the second podium finish of his F1 career whilst Ricciardo took the flag sixth, behind the two Ferrari drivers.
Seidl added: “We have a clear agreement with both drivers and within the team that we will always make decisions that ensure that we maximise the result for the team.
"We let our drivers race freely but if we see that they run into each other on track and if we judge it as one driver having superior pace at that moment compared to the other driver, we make a decision to swap and that is what we did.
“We will always make sure the two guys can battle it out on track but if we think in order to maximise the team result it makes sense to swap we will do it.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.