Jul.4 (GMM) Daniel Ricciardo is determined not to let his consistent and stark defeats to McLaren teammate Lando Norris “get me down”.
The Australian headed into the Paul Ricard-Austria-Austria triple-header with high hopes that the consecutive action would end his struggle to get on terms with his decade-younger teammate.
But while Norris sensationally missed pole by a mere half-tenth on Saturday, Ricciardo was a long way off the pace – and a fitting 13th on the grid.
“I’ve certainly been better,” he admitted afterwards. “But I’m ok.
“I’m definitely not going to let the sport get me down, because it can’t become something repetitive.”
Indeed, Ricciardo is also refusing to deal with his pace problem by directly asking 21-year-old Norris for advice.
“Drivers don’t do that. Each to their own,” he insisted.
“In debriefs, information is shared about how we feel about the car, but everyone has their own way and their own little things they’ll keep for themselves. That is just how this sport is and that’s ok.”
Ricciardo admits he isn’t sure why the gap to Norris is so alarming.
“I feel like I am pushing the car and driving on the edge and it is just not translating into laptime at the moment,” he said.
“I can’t take a second off the car. So I don’t know.
“I congratulated him (Norris), but I don’t know how take time like that. That’s the truth.”
Worse still for Ricciardo, he revealed that after the triple-header, he actually now feels “more comfortable” in the 2021 McLaren.
The pace, though, is still not there.
“If I had not seen the times, I would have said today was a good day. But obviously something is missing so we need to dig a little deeper to find the answer,” said Ricciardo.
“Oddly enough, in a sense I’m satisfied with the car, so we need to keep looking for areas that will allow us to win back the time – because we’re not talking about fractions of a second. It’s a big gap.
“It will take more time to analyse the situation. That’s just the situation at the moment.”