Floor damage to Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren MCL35M is to blame for his lack of speed during the Bahrain GP.
Although he finished seventh in his first Formula 1 race with McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was somewhat of a harsh critic on himself. Disappointed with his performance at the Bahrain GP. In what he essentially described as a lack of speed and performance.
With the Australian previously mentioning the difficult transition between Red Bull and Renault. In terms of different car handling and performance. His acclimatisation with the new setup of the MCL35M could have easily been to blame.
Speaking after the conclusion of the Bahrain GP, Ricciardo said he felt like the further the race progressed, the slower he got.
“I felt like I got slower as the race went on,” Ricciardo said. “So I felt like the first stint on the soft I was hanging with Lando [Norris] and Charles [Leclerc] more or less but then with the medium they pulled away a bit and then the hard even more, so I felt like I kind of degraded as the race went on.
“But again if I’m not there yet with pace over the course of 50 laps it’s just you know that gap is going to grow so it could just be a result of that.
“I kind of hope I have damage, maybe it explains some of the loss of pace.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 28, 2021
However, it turns out Ricciardo’s hope of damage was in fact the cause of his lost speed. With McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl confirming he received floor damage as a result of Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly crashing into the rear of his MCL35M.
“Post-race we found damage to Daniel’s floor from the impact of Pierre running into the back of his car at the beginning of the race,” Seidl said.
“The level of damage cost a considerable amount of downforce. Despite the performance loss Daniel used his experience to cope with the issues and score important points for the team.”
Round 2 of the 2021 F1 season kicks off on April 18th at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola.