Despite claiming P5 at the British GP, his highest finish for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo isn’t expecting overnight success with the MCL35M.
The British Grand Prix saw Daniel Ricciardo score his highest finish since making the switch to McLaren for the 2021 Formula 1 season. Struggling to work out the kinks surrounding the MCL35M, he appeared to be the most comfortable in the car we’ve seen to date.
Finishing fifth, one place behind teammate Lando Norris, he managed to hold off the charging Ferrari of Carlos Sainz to bring home some important double points for the team.
Daniel tells us about his #BritishGP. 🇬🇧
P5 and his best ever finish in a McLaren. 👏
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 18, 2021
“It was alright,” Ricciardo said after the race. “Definitely on paper a better weekend and good to get some points home and I think first stint… I struggled quite a bit, wasn’t quick enough and lost touch with the guys in front and then really just – Carlos, behind me the whole race – and he caught me so quick in that second stint and put a lot of pressure on me.
“The rate he caught me, I wasn’t convinced I would hold him off until the end but I certainly – when I say I wasn’t convinced – I certainly back myself, but I just thought they were too quick for us. Kept it clean, managed to hold him off, so from that point of view, I was happy.”
Ricciardo’s British Grand Prix performance came just in time, as McLaren continue their battle with Ferrari over third place in the Constructors’ Championship. However, while the team did enjoy the double points finish, the Scuderia did edge ever so closer. With Charles Leclerc locking up second place, and Sainz finishing sixth.
With just 15 points separating the two old English and Italian rivals in the standings, McLaren need Ricciardo to continue on with the progress he has shown over the Silverstone weekend. He is the last of the driver’s that changed teams over the break that are still not quite comfortable with their new car.
And, while this is already something he is quite aware of, the Australian has acknowledged there is still some hard work to put in, with a ‘steady process’ still to come.
“It’s getting there. I’m still not like super quick, let’s say, and getting more comfortable, but there is certainly still some parts of the race and moments where I’m like just still not quite there,” he continued.
“So it’s getting there; I’m creeping up on it, but it’s obviously taken 10 races to get a top five so I’m aware that it’s probably still going to be a steady process. I won’t expect it overnight but I’m certainly going to keep working harder.”