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Ricciardo - McLaren ready to take it to Red Bull and Mercedes

Ricciardo - McLaren ready to take it to Red Bull and Mercedes

F1 News

Ricciardo - McLaren ready to take it to Red Bull and Mercedes

Ricciardo - McLaren ready to take it to Red Bull and Mercedes
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Daniel Ricciardo believes McLaren is now in a position to consistently “take it to the top two teams” when it races at a track that suits the car.

Ricciardo recently led home a one-two finish in Italy while team-mate Lando Norris secured pole at the last race in Russia and led for the majority of the event until late rain helped Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton secure his 100th grand prix win.

Asked if the team was now in a position to challenge at the front, Ricciardo replied: “We have definitely been looking like that more often in the last few weeks.

“Lando has been there pretty much all year and it’s starting to look more promising for me as well.

“It’s still a little track dependent for us as a team, I don’t think we’re universally strong across the board, every track layout we go to, but the ones that we are strong on we seem to be really able to take it to the top two teams.”

Ricciardo back in the groove

Ricciardo moved to McLaren at the start of the year after two years at Renault but has struggled to find his true pace and been out-classed by Norris for much of the season.

The 32-year-old's situation has improved recently, however, given his win in Italy and fourth place in Russia.

“Crossing the line in fourth I was relatively pleased," added Ricciardo. "It’s definitely one of the better end-of-race results for me this year, so it was good to get the points, but generally, the pace wasn’t as strong as I would have liked.

“Analysing the race after and looking over it I think we recovered well and that’s what Sundays are about. It might not always be the fastest car wins, it’s how you manage your pace and your race and all that.

“Obviously, with the changing conditions at the end, we were ultimately on it with that call. I did go off a couple of times on the lap I was going to come in, so that was more confirmation to me, I can’t stay on.

“A few cars that passed me on that lap were on the medium tyre and I think to keep some temperature in that tyre was a little easier, whereas on the hard, even before the rain, it was starting to drop in temperature a bit.

“Once I started to go slower with the rain that was falling it made my decision easier. It was a pretty obvious decision, I am not saying we pulled something out of the hat, it was just clear and that was what put us in a good position.”

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