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Ricciardo hails McLaren progress despite stopwatch troubles

Ricciardo hails McLaren progress despite stopwatch troubles

F1 News

Ricciardo hails McLaren progress despite stopwatch troubles

Ricciardo hails McLaren progress despite stopwatch troubles

Daniel Ricciardo is confident he now has a handle on the issues that initially plagued him at McLaren even though "it’s not translating on the stopwatch".

Ricciardo is currently eighth in the drivers' championship after nine races, a position behind McLaren predecessor Carlos Sainz, with the Australian scoring points in seven.

Although race pace has improved, Ricciardo's progress has been limited by poor performances in qualifying. Most recently in Austria, he started 13th while team-mate Lando Norris was on the front row.

Speaking about his problems, Ricciardo said: “I wouldn’t say it’s like a recurring issue now.

"I feel we’ve made progress in some areas, so if I didn’t look at the classification [for the Austrian GP] I would say I had a better weekend but unfortunately it’s not translating on the stopwatch.

“It was definitely different to the previous weekend [Styrian GP] as far as I think we’ve actually made some good steps but unfortunately the lap time shows the same result, I mean relatively.

"There’s obviously still work to do, but that’s where it is at the moment.”

Ricciardo focused on analysis

With regard to his qualifying pace, in particular, Ricciardo recognises he still faces a significant deficit to Norris.

That has resulted in a deeper investigation as Ricciardo knows he can no longer blame such a problem on a lack of seat time.

“It’s certainly something I’m just going to keep working at," added Ricciardo.

"I definitely do feel more comfortable in the car now. It’s not race two, race three, where I know there is more to come naturally from seat time.

“I do feel, especially now, I’ve had enough time in the car consistently in the last few weeks to be at a level of comfort with it.

“There is obviously still something missing and we’ll just have to dig a bit deeper for that.

"But in a way, weirdly enough, I feel okay. I feel alright in the car so it’s just about keeping on trying to search for where that lap time is because it’s not a tenth [of a second], we’re still talking big margins.

“So that will require a bit more analysis.”

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