Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Monaco, 2021

Ricciardo wants to avoid “paralysis over analysis” after poor Monaco GP

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo said he needs to take a few days to come to terms with a poor Monaco Grand Prix performance in which he was lapped by his team mate.

The McLaren driver has finished behind Lando Norris in four of the five races held so far this season.

Norris claimed his second podium of the year in Monaco, while Ricciardo had his first race without points since last year’s Spanish Grand Prix when he was racing for Renault.

Ricciardo finished seventh in his first race with McLaren at Bahrain, and he admitted it was “strange” to find himself further from that level four races later.

“Looking back obviously at the transition to Renault wasn’t the easiest. But I think Monaco was actually a pretty strong weekend for me there.”

The street circuit was the scene of two poles, four podiums and one win for Ricciardo during his years with Red Bull, and he finished ninth when he contested the grand prix with Renault in 2019. He also won in Monaco twice while in junior single-seaters, and his struggles last weekend were purely down to getting the McLaren MCL35M car rotated.

“I’m obviously going to keep working at it. But I feel this weekend we’ve kind of been so far off and so much on the back foot that part of me also just wants to switch off for a few days. Otherwise it’s like paralysis over analysis. I’ve been there before and I don’t want to go back to that.”

Many of the drivers who have changed teams this year have also struggled at their new homes, which some have attributed to a shortened pre-season.

“One thing actually which the team pointed out is we had a lot less mileage at the start of the year,” said Ricciardo. “I think that’s actually quite significant now.

“But with all that being said, I did not expect to be this far back. Absolutely not. The team’s being very understanding and very good about it. But personally I don’t want to be here, I want to be much further up.

“I appreciate them giving me time and I appreciate maybe I just do need more time. But since Bahrain, it feels like it hasn’t really made much progress. So I’ve got to got to try to unlock something soon.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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34 comments on “Ricciardo wants to avoid “paralysis over analysis” after poor Monaco GP”

  1. Out of the quartet who changed a team from last season, he’s struggled more than, for example, Sainz and Perez in comparison, definitely the former, but I’m not worried yet.

    1. And even Vettel looks like he is starting to get into a bit of a stride now @jerejj. At the same time, only Alonso looks like underperforming as much as Ricciardo is

      1. @bascb Partly because Alonso has an even greater disadvantage compared to an incumbent teammate through not having raced in F1 at all for two full seasons, but I’m sure he’ll also get up to speed eventually.

      2. Vettel profited from the processional nature of Monaco. On a ‘normal’ circuit he’ll be over taken again by the front runners. Like wise his freak over take on Hamilton, [on fresher tires stright out of the pits]. Hamilton on a normal circuit would have regained the place. Vettel’s performance was a one off, to reflect this freak circuit.

        1. Vettel has always been good on street circuits. That is his forte. On a normal racing circuit, Lewis would no doubt overtake both Gasly and Vettel. Both AM and AT are no match for the mighty Merc.

          1. Mark Webber easily beat Better to victory in 2010 and 2012.

    2. Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
      25th May 2021, 9:47

      Yes, it’s taking time for some of the swapped drivers to bed in.

      Perez: Perez has always been better on a Sunday than a Saturday. His tyre management is awesome and he tends to carve through the field, hopefully as he settles into the Red Bull he’ll be able to maximise it and support Max better. He’s a good racer and seems more confident than Max’s last two team-mates. If he can get a better handle of the car hopefully he’ll qualify nearer the front row more often and give Red Bull more strategy options. I don’t doubt that he can do it, but Helmut must now be looking at Gasly again in that Alpha T and wondering how he’ll do in a 2022 spec car! I was super excited about seeing Perez in that Red Bull, and I think (hope) Perez will be more dominant on track as the season progresses. He’s not done a bad job so far, but there’s a wide margin for improvement.

      Sainz: I personally feel that Ferrari have the best driver line-up now. They seem to have what McLaren had last year (well, they literally have half of it!) with 2 great drivers who seem pretty evenly matched. Sainz has become stronger in that Ferrari and that will help them in their bid for 3rd in the Constructor’s championship. LeClerc seems like a legitimate top-tier driver and now has a team mate to push him further.

      Vettel: I’ve never rated Vettel as a truly awesome driver, but I’ve always liked him. He seems like a genuinely great guy and it was painful watching him wilt in that Ferrari. For whatever reason (I suspect much of it was the rigid corporate structure) he slumped, the Aston Martin isn’t as good as the former Pink Mercedes but Vettel seems happier and I really hope we see him regularly getting good points.

      Ricciardo: There is no doubt that Daniel is really underperforming and from interviews I’ve seen he seems pretty puzzled as to where he is losing out all the time. Seidl has said that Ricciardo’s driving style just doesn’t work in that McLaren. If it weren’t for the fact that we’ve seen how brilliant he can be, I’d probably be dismissing him. But he’s an intelligent driver and a gifted racer, it must be incredibly difficult to adjust your driving style (I struggle when I play Mario Kart at someone’s house and they haven’t yet unlocked the set up I’m used to!) and the reduction in test/practice hasn’t helped. Once he tries out different techniques and finds the sweet spot he will hopefully be able to switch it all on and maximise the speed the McLaren clearly has. I really want to see that big smile, and maybe some Champagne being sipped from a sweaty shoe.

      1. On Ricciardo. He’s already stated the car isn’t well balanced, on this tight circuit, the balance of the car is critical if he is to push the car and not wreak it on a barrior. It seems to me he is right back where is started, with a twitchy car, not unlike the Redbull he left. Its one thing to adapt to a car’s idiosyncrasies, as his team mate seems to have done, but that doesn’t address the underlying issues with the car.

        1. Ajaxn Fair comment. Not sure if you mean the RBR was twitchy when he left in 2018, or that this reminds you of RBR in 2019 and 2020 with PG and AA, and for me it is more the latter. However, DR is much more experienced than PG and AA were, and I expect he will get on top of things with the Mac’s help, and with some more time with the car.

          @geekzilla9000 Fair assessment. I think Marko is likely satisfied keeping PG where he is and not upsetting any apple carts, and for sure it will be very interesting to see how all the drivers do in the wholly new cars next year, including PG. I think SP will only get stronger, and he does have the luxury of a better car than PG and AA had, and I’m assuming that by now both SP and VB have the function to not take points away from their teammates (seems VB has the better chance of doing that to LH than SP to Max though, but will orders come into play…) and their performances will be more about fighting for WCC points.

          I can understand your comment about the Ferrari pairing, but I’m actually not convinced of CL’s ability to hold it together when the pressure is at it’s strongest. For me, he has more to show in that regard. Sainz is definitely the one that has adapted the quickest to a car new to him, amongst all the drivers in the same boat. That might be on Sainz, or he might have somewhat hit the lottery in moving to a car that he is immediately more comfortable in than the others, but that is not said to take anything away from him. He’s still doing the job either way.

          Glad to see SV having some more positive days now.

          As to DR, I think he has it in him to get on top of things, and he just needs that same time and patience we have been needing to give all the drivers that are new to their teams. It has to be frustrating for him, and nobody will be wanting more on top of this than him, and he will be his own biggest critic, and I think it is a good sign of maturity for him to say he doesn’t want to subject himself to paralysis over analysis. I think that is a healthy and positive attitude and I have no doubt he will simply continue to do the only thing he can do, which is try is utmost, and try not to overdrive in doing so.

      2. “Vettel seems like a genuinely great guy”.

        What evidence to you base this on?

        He has manipulated his teams and teammates to force them into favouring him using underhanded tactics. He is probably the most despicable person on the grid based on the multi21, based on his sullen attitude whenever his teammates had beaten him, he even tried ramming Lewis. A genuinely dishonest guy. He finally was dealt the same treatment that his teammates Webber and Raikkonen and Leclerc were subjected to in 2020.

        1. Soooo, you’re saying you don’t like the guy?

          While I agree that he has had his low moments, and can’t go along with your heavy handed assessment of him, and while I’ve never really pulled of him, I do think he is a genuinely great guy in spite of his faults. I think he has a great perspective on things, and probably the best sense of humour on the grid. I find myself only wishing the best for him now.

  2. Sounds like it’s quite a departure for him in terms of driving style.

    He likes to brake further into the corner but this induces understeer the further he gets into the corner so the car doesn’t rotate as a result. Whereas Norris doesn’t drive like that so has no issues with it (not to mention already a season+ under his belt driving a similar car).

    The other drivers, they could easily have gone to other teams but the car characteristics aren’t as punishing or so different to what they have driven previously so they aren’t having the issues Ricciardo is having.

    Not sure why fans in general are surprised that Ricciardo is further away @ Monaco, Monaco is a confidence track. If he doesn’t trust the car is going to do what it is going to do, I wouldn’t expect him to be up there and that goes for a lot of tracks with a lot of low speed corners.

    1. He said he had confidence though, that’s why it’s even more confusing. It’s not as if he doesn’t trust the car or can’t be confident in it. It’s just slow when he drives it.

  3. Unrelated to the article, but can I just say that I’ve loved some of the pictures coming out of Monaco this weekend. There have been some taken from unusual angles (like the one used in this article and others like the photo taken from the inside of Mirabeau Bas) which I have really enjoyed. The classic images are great and all but having a few rouge ones in there mixes things up.

    1. Agreed. From one circuit to the next, from one race weekend to the next, the circuit should be the star. You only really see that with Monaco which of course has so much more to offer the seasoned lens.

      The way F1 is presented, the circuit is secondary to the usual close ups of the drivers, or the dramatic shot from the tarmac, or the other cliches closeup shots which make the race like every other. Unless you’ve raced the circuit on a simulator, it not that easy tell from the selected camera angles, where on the circuit you are. In my opinion the circuit is the lost star in the dramas of F1.

  4. I believe it’s in the slowest corner Ricciardo is losing out for some reason.

    1. I remember reading about this (and commenting on it here as well) a while ago, though not in respect of Ricciardo. Slower corners are always the place you can make up / lose the most time because you spend more time going through them relatively speaking. For all the racing driver bravado about “being quicker than driver X through the high speed corners” it actually doesn’t matter as much because they are over so much quicker, meaning any gains/losses made in them are smaller.

      To go fast, focus on the slow stuff…

  5. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    25th May 2021, 11:35

    Honestly I expected Norris to be slightly better than him anyway but I’m quite surprised he’s doing as poorly as he is. Perez and Vettel’s form seems to be spotty, Sainz is steadily improving but Ricciardo seems like he’s getting worse, and just like Red Bull desperately needing Perez to perform to beat Mercedes, McLaren really need Ricciardo to perform to ensure they beat Ferrari. No points and being lapped by your podium winning team-mate is quite awful.

    1. I don’t think that “getting worse” is accurate – he has been somewhat inconsistent, but he has outqualified Norris at three of the five races including and seemed to be getting to grips with the car in high-speed, high-deg conditions in Spain. Monaco just massively exacerbates the issues that he has with the car (getting the tyres into the right operating window and entry to slow corners seem to be the big problems right now), and even then he was lapping decently at the end (though that doesn’t make up for his poor qualifying obviously).

      None of which is to say that he “should” be quicker than Norris, but it’s not unreasonable to think he’ll be competitive on “normal” F1 tracks, given his pace in Spain.

  6. He mentioned in another interview that the McLaren is quite weird which Sainz apparently agreed to. Any idea in which way is the car different?

    1. maninhat I don’t, but isn’t it amazing how these cars can generally be so close at times in terms of lap times etc etc, and how so many people decry how ‘spec’ F1 is, with limited freedom for innovation, and yet a team’s car can feel so different than another team’s car? So similar in design and build, by regulation, and yet so different.

      I keep in mind something that was pointed out a few weeks ago around here that as it is all the drivers have been having to adapt to a car that is different from last year’s in terms of that floor removal and the resultant loss of downforce, which they then clawed back no doubt in various ways. So you combine that the cars must already feel different than last years’ and you have DR (and the other drivers new to their teams) not only having to adapt to a new team and how their car feels, but a car that was always going to feel different even if they had stayed on their old team. As was pointed out in an article a few weeks ago, they were already going to have to change their approach at many corners of many tracks just because of the floor change, so put some drivers in cars completely new to them and it’s a double whammy.

      But hey, at least DR is on a highly resourced team, and they have the Mercedes pu.

    2. McLaren did say they wanted a driver who had won races.

      McLaren had essentially developed it’s current car using Sainz and Norris, neither of whom had experience driving a front running car. It’s understandable that Lando is comfortable, given it’s the only F1 car he has driven and it’s development has been driven by his and Carlos’s feedback. My hope is that with Dan’s experience and feedback McLaren can take the next step and move even closer to the front. I will be disappointed if the only outcome they are trying to achieve is to adapt Dan’s driving to suit their car, surely his experience and knowledge is bringing new insight to the engineers and aero team about what characteristics the current car lacks.

      I expect some decent gains after the summer break, and I don’t think Lando will have any trouble adapting. I think there real intent is to launch the 2022 car with 2 top drivers and the expectation of running at the front of the field.

  7. Excuses, excuses. A professional F1 driver with data, simulator and a team mate to learn from, should be able to adapt in a couple of races.

    1. I don’t mind at all, and in fact prefer it, that F1 is that hard that they can’t just do as you suggest. As well, I find that when someone uses the word ‘excuses’ it is because he is not a fan. Fans would call DR’s issues ‘reasons,’ not excuses. One of the reasons for me is that F1 is the pinnacle and is supposed to be hard. That is how we end up revering the Champions current and past, albeit I do think the further back one goes the harder it was for the drivers in general.

    2. You would think so yes. Maybe we should evaluate Ricciardo again from when he started. He beat Kvyat, not a big deal I guess. Then he beat Vettel. Thats where the idea of Ricciardo being a top driver comes from. Combined with him being a multiple race winner. Lets break that down (because afterwards he just barely hold his own against a very young and inexperienced Max before losing to him altogether and leaving RB). So Vettel. Well, I think there is consensus that Vettel is not an all-round driver. He is fast when alone, but can’t race other cars. He got 4 titles basically getting pole and then driving off never having to challenge anyone. So great when not in traffic, especially when in the fastest car. So Ricciardo beating him is again not a real achievement. Then his victories. They were good, partly in an unbeatable car. So he is a solid driver. Probably a bit ahead of Hulkenberg and Perez. When looking at him from this perspective and knowing Lando is a talent, the results we see are not that unexpected. He does need to step up a bit, but sure that will come.

      1. Mayrton I don’t think that assessment is unfair at all. I would only add that around the time of DR’s contract coming up at RBR in 2018, and there was big debate as to whether he would stay or go, with to me it seeming fairly evenly split amongst us pundits, and certainly RBR wanting and expecting him to stay, many were talking him up like a WDC in the waiting, and were making it sound like for 2019 he would have his pick between Mercedes and Ferrari, literally some implying it was as simple as that…his pick…seemingly imho with little consideration as to what those teams wanted. Personally I never thought he had openings there, and was as surprised as RBR was that he decided on Renault, but I suppose I wasn’t shocked.

    3. I agree with you. Button jumped into the 2010 Mclaren and had 2 wins in his first 5 races for the team. A team that was Hamiltons.
      Yes Ric has won 7 races, but in a Red Bull. I think we’ve all read Ric fans saying tjat Dan was going to be number 1 and put Norris in his place. I thought Ric would struggle as Norris is a better driver than a lit of people give him credit for. Either that or Ric is seriously over rated.

  8. It’s called karma no

  9. It won’t be easy for Daniel.

  10. In the latter part of the race Ricciardo on clear track was lapping at a pace equal to that of the front runners.

  11. With all things being equal DRicc is probably a better driver than Norris. He saw of Kyvatt, Vettel, Ocon and Hulkenberg (who was faster than Sainz at Renault). With MaxV it is a little more tricky to judge given how unreliable the car was for both drivers and the number of DNFs they both experienced, but i think it is fair to say they were not miles apart.

    By the end of the season i expect DRicc to be consistently faster.

    1. I dont agree. Ricciardo’s level is based on him beating Kvyat, Vettel, Ocon and Hukenberg? Probably Vettel is the one creating expectations at Ricciardo’s side then. What if Vettel is not that good. How should we than rate Ricciardo? As said above Vettel got 4 titles basically getting pole and then driving off never having to challenge anyone. He can not perform at top level when there are cars around. So great when not in traffic, especially when in the fastest car. So Ricciardo beating him is again not a real achievement. If you look at it that way, he is performing slightly below expectations, but I am sure that part will be improved. Beating Lando is not in the cards I am afraid.

      1. JackFlash67
        27th May 2021, 4:58

        If you own a hat; you may have to eat it a years end. Maybe not. Time will tell.
        It is a Long way to go in the Season. Ricciardo is no F1-slouch. When he does get the feel for the McLaren sorted, McLaren as a team will benefit. That is what Zac hired him for.

        In any case… F1 is a Team Sport, and the vastly more important WCC pays McLarens bills leading into the watershed 2022 Season. That is where the focus should be.

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