Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Q1 exit “feels dark” for Ricciardo as Norris laps a second quicker

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo was mystified by his performance in qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix after dropping out in the first round.

The McLaren driver lapped over a second slower than team mate Lando Norris in Q1. Ricciardo missed the cut for Q2 by 91 thousandths of a second, to Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen.

“I don’t really know what happened,” said Ricciardo. “My laps were tricky, especially towards last sector. But why? Its not clear.”

Ricciardo went into his third weekend at McLaren hoping to show he has made more progress with his new car. But his 16th on the grid will be his worst starting place since the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix.

“I left a few tenths on the table,” he admitted. “P16 is certainly not a result I was dreaming about at all.”

He admitted he still hasn’t been able to adapt his driving style to the unfamiliar car.

“I think I’m trying to get out of my old style,” said Ricciardo. “I’m quite conscious about how I approach every corner. I thought I’d made a step towards that yesterday – felt more comfortable. Feels dark to be here today. I’ll sleep it off.”

Ricciardo qualified sixth for the previous two races this year. Norris reached Q3 today in the other McLaren.

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2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Q1 exit “feels dark” for Ricciardo as Norris laps a second quicker”

  1. Ric can’t drive his natural style in the McLaren at the moment. Let’s hope the upgrades being brought to his car designed to allow him to drive more to his natural style unlock the speed we know he is capable of.

    1. He just has to adapt his driving to what works best in this car @homerlovesbeer

      1. @bascb Seidl has already said they are developing upgrades to better suit Dan’s driving style.

  2. He was surprisingly slow. Hopefully, he gets up to speed ASAP, preferably sooner than later.

  3. Things look somehow weird this race: RIC 1sec off NOR, ALO 0.8sec off OCO, VET ahead of STR etc

    1. Sainz ahead of leclerc
      Bottas ahead of Hamilton

      1. Does it tell us that this circuit is not atypical? There’s something about it which does not suit certain styles of driver.

  4. No worries… you’ll be back on it in a few races to show the young upstart how it’s done! 🇭🇲 Sad to see Ric struggling like this.

    1. Interesting to see how you totally loose it on a minor mistake by Verstappen and how low ball you are at Ricci :)

    2. Not sad at all. He’s overrated and always has been. He’s got one good skill, being brilliant under braking, but that’s not going to be enough to win a championship.
      Yes, he beat Vettel in 2014, but that’s not saying much, he then was beaten by Kvyat in 2015.

  5. Seeing Ricciardo and Alonso struggle to this extent against their teammates is unnatural to watch.
    I can understand that Ricciardo is just not comfortable with the car yet, and Alonsos 2 seasons out of the sport has done him no favours in form.. But just seeing them get out qualified by their teammates by 0.8s to 1s for the first time in their respective careers is hard to digest. Hope they both turn it around soon.

  6. Folks, something dodgy is happening at MacLaren. Ricc is a proven performer.

    1. You’re right! They’re sabotaging the career of a driver they paid enormous amounts of money to lead the team, and instead, are favouring the young and upcoming talent who was always a part of their stable.

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