Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Spain showed McLaren will “have our work cut out” in Monaco – Ricciardo

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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McLaren’s drivers are braced for a challenging weekend in Monaco based on data gleaned from the previous round of the championship.

The tight and slow final sector at the Circuit de Catalunya is often seen as a reliable indicator of car performance around the twisty Monaco track. Daniel Ricciardo admitted McLaren’s performance on that stretch of the circuit does not bode very well for their performance this weekend.

“Sector three wasn’t a stand-out for us,” he said last week, “and normally that’s the one, that’s the ‘Monaco sector’, obviously, Barcelona always being before Monaco.

“So we’re aware that we’ll probably have our work cut out for us. But obviously knowing a little bit in advance we can start to think about maybe some different set-up ideas or some things to help us out in Monaco.”

Having confidence to drive the car to its limit is especially important, Ricciardo added. “As always a good car helps, but Monaco is Monaco and if you have that comfort and confidence, then I think you can always extract a little bit more out of it. So if that’s enough, time will tell.”

Lando Norris said the set-up differences between the two tracks may mean McLaren will perform better than the sector times suggested.

“The only big difference between Monaco and sector three in Spain is we obviously run the set-up very different in Spain,” he explained. “It’s a lot more preferred to[wards] sector one in sector two with the high-speed corners.

“It’s quite the opposite of Monaco – a lot more low speed, a couple of high speed – but you also run a lot softer, the whole car, because of the bumps and everything like that. So I think the whole characteristic of the car will change a lot. So it’s quite unexplored territory for this car and so on.”

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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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12 comments on “Spain showed McLaren will “have our work cut out” in Monaco – Ricciardo”

  1. Somebody needs to coach the drivers to stop using the word “obviously” so much.

    I mean, obviously we know what they mean. Obviously…….. :D

    1. I noticed this of the most non-native speakers didn’t know Daniel uses it also..

    2. Very common in Australia. An awkward and slightly longer filler word while you think of what to say next!

      1. I rarely hear it in Oz, obviously because I’m deaf.

        Reply moderated
      2. Yes but Lando used it also and he’s a native English speaker also.

        “The only big difference between Monaco and sector three in Spain is we obviously run the set-up very different in Spain,” he explained. “

        Yes Lando…..very obvious.

    3. I think a lot of it is also that they get asked the same questions over and over

    1. Is that you, Nico?

      1. It’s Felipe Massa surely?

        1. Obviously, for sure, yes @geemac!

  2. Interesting to hear their views be quite different. I guess Norris can speak out of experience of the race 2 years back?

  3. Since Monaco is all about Q3, there’s not actually a race setup. Cars are tuned to only one cliff hanging lap. The rest is all about safety cars, red flags, wall kisses and pit stops.

    Ricciardo himself lost with the fastest car once and won with the slowest car once (no MGU-K).

    I think Haas and Williams are the only ones that can’t pull it off this year. A red flag during the pit window can even put Raikkonen or Alonso as race leader. For some reason I’m counting Vettel out, but this could be his redemption.

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