In the season-opening F1 race in Bahrain, Ricciardo had an excuse for his seventh-place finish due to his car sustaining floor damage after being hit by AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly early on.
Around Imola, however, Ricciardo had to be instructed by the pitwall to allow by team-mate Lando Norris at one stage, with the Briton going on to claim the second podium of his career, while the Australian finished sixth.
The transition from a new team after leaving Renault to join McLaren over the winter has seemingly affected Ricciardo more than he anticipated.
"It was certainly not particularly fast, so I've just got to keep working on it," said Ricciardo regarding his form across the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend.
"Obviously I'm hard on myself and I'm not skipping around. I think by race six, race seven, I'll look back on race two and I'll be like 'What was I worried about?'
"It's still so early, and the encouraging thing is the pace is there. Lando had a strong race, and all weekend really strong pace.
"It's really just about me and fine-tuning everything with the car and I guess becoming one with it. I'll just work at it and hopefully, be more competitive for races to come."
Ricciardo can appreciate that to understand the MCL35M and to be 'at one' with the team is going to take time, as it did when he left Red Bull to join Renault two years ago.
"Ultimately that's what it is at the moment," added Ricciardo. "So far there is more to adapt to.
"I did go to Renault so I'm not naive to know a new team is a new challenge. I say I thought the transition would have been quicker but it's race two.
"I don't want to be like 'I was expecting to be on the podium already' Maybe by next race I'm on it, but in Imola, let's say, my pace wasn't that spectacular.
"I'll just look at it, work on it. Obviously, the reference to Lando is a strong one, so I'll just chip away and do better."
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.