Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2021

McLaren confident there’s “more to come” from Ricciardo in 2022

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In the round-up: McLaren’s Andrea Stella expects to see more from Daniel Ricciardo in his second season with the team in 2022

In brief

McLaren expect “more to come” from Ricciardo in 2022

McLaren racing director Andrea Stella says he anticipates that Daniel Ricciardo will find more performance than he was able to show through the 2021 season.

Ricciardo struggled to adapt to his new car during his first year with the team and was significantly outscored by team mate Lando Norris, despite taking victory in the Italian Grand Prix. Stella says that Ricciardo made “tangible” progress through 2021 and believes he will find more performance in his second season.

“On Daniel’s front, I think the progress through the season [was] tangible,” said Stella.

“We know that there is more to come with Daniel. In a way we have a sort of development plan still and I’m looking forward to seeing what we will be able to do [this] year with Daniel. I’m very optimistic from this point of view. And let me just say that working with him is a real pleasure. I think it creates really a nice atmosphere in the team, which is a good foundation for the technical and driving development.”

Long Beach Grand Prix extended to 2028

The Long Beach City Council have approved the extension of the Long Beach Grand Prix up to and including the year 2028.

Event promoters the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (GPALB) announced a seven year extension to the event that begins with 2022 and runs until the 2028 edition. The Grand Prix of Long Beach currently features both IndyCar and IMSA Sports Car races across the same weekend.

“The Grand Prix extension that has been approved by the City Council is the result of extensive discussions with City leadership that we believe has resulted in benefits to all parties concerned,” said GPALB CEO and president Jim Michaelian.

“The Grand Prix has always been a very strong community event and this agreement just amplifies the unique relationship with the City of Long Beach going forward.”

After the 2021 edition of the event was held in September, the 2022 Grand Prix will return to its usual Spring slot of 9-10 April.

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Comment of the day

Did Mick Schumacher’s rookie season deserve better than 17th place in our 2021 F1 driver rankings? Some disagree, but @gongtong says it’s difficult to justify placing the Haas driver higher…

I see what other people mean with this being a little unkind. But for me I still think this list so far is about right.

I wasn’t at all impressed by Mick. Even if you weigh in his rookie status, terrible car and terrible teammate, I still can’t justify putting him higher.

That said, I think he’s deserving of the opportunity to continue to grow in the sport. I wish him well in the future.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Raginginferno, Akshay.It and Mole!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 55 comments on “McLaren confident there’s “more to come” from Ricciardo in 2022”

    1. RandomMallard
      7th January 2022, 0:36

      I hope there’s more to come from Ricciardo. He showed what he was capable at some points last season, particularly France and obviously Italy, but those moments weren’t common enough really.

      Happy to see Long Beach extend its deal. Not an absolute favourite of mine, but it’s good nonetheless. Also scene of the F1 record for win from furthest back on the grid I believe, with John Watson from 22nd on the grid in 1983.

      Like the look of that Williams livery on the car. I know it’s not their 2022 livery, but at least getting some idea of what liveries look like on the new cars is nice. Here are my predictions/requests for liveries this season:

      Mercedes: have already hinted their going back to Silver, so I expect something based around that.

      Red Bull: I hope/expect they might change it up a bit. Their livery has been give or take the same since 2016, and I think the new car would be a great opportunity to change it up a bit.

      Ferrari: Red

      McLaren: I think they might change it up again. Maybe return to a slightly glossier colour, but I hope it’s still orange (alternatively, the Monaco Gulf livery for a full season please)

      Aston Martin: Similar to this year, but with it seeming like BWT may have left at the same time as Otmar, I hope they introduce a bit of AMR light green like they have/had in WEC.

      Alpine, Alpha Tauri and Alfa Romeo: similar to this year, don’t think much will change for any of them

      Williams: I think they’re still settling on a new identity, their last couple of liveries have been a bit of an interim set I think. Could be anything this season.

      Haas: I expect to see another car sponsored by Mike Ashley. Oh wait, those weren’t the colours of Sports Direct last season? Oh ok, never mind…

      1. Just sayin :
        Happy birthday to one of the only two 7 world champion of the sport this website promotes: Lewis Hamilton, 37 today.

        1. RandomMallard
          7th January 2022, 8:34

          @jeffs1 Good spot, hadn’t noticed that. Happy Birthday Lewis.

        2. RandomMallard
          7th January 2022, 8:35

          @jeff1s I need to learn to read usernames properly lol

      2. Aston Martin: Similar to this year, but with it seeming like BWT may have left at the same time as Otmar,

        Oooh, I hope that means Seb will ditch his sponsored helmet designs too.

    2. A celebration of who we are.

      A half complete, shell of a team, that might as well be building a shopping mall.

    3. What are McLaren going to say? That he’ll stay the double-digit million a year underperforming mistake that he was in 2021?

      1. The underperforming mistake that brought them to the top step of the podium. Good chat. There has been pages of discussion about Ric’s struggles with the McLaren ( even Sainz made mention of how odd the car is to drive), no one would be more dissatisfied with his season than the man himself. He started to find his feet even though the cars strengths and weaknesses are diametrically opposed to the way Ric naturally drives. When driver and car were both in the sweet spot Ric was still able to get the maximum out of the weekend. Given his input into the development for the 22 car I expect Dan to me much more consistent throughout the year.

        1. The only problem with pushing the blame on McLaren is the evidence from his previous stint with Renault.

          1. Where he outscored his team mates and helped progress the team…dragged a the car onto the podium and doubled his points tally year to year.

        2. The underperforming mistake that managed to finish the race outside the points a whopping 8 times when his teammate scored in every single race he finished.

          1. Including one race where the team swapped them on track to make sure Lando scored…

            1. I still have lots of patience for DR. Because he is a proven win-capable driver, I think we just saw him so having to change his driving style that he struggled to make the tires work to their optimum, and we know way too much has been hinging on the art of getting the tires to work.

              I think he will be much more impressive this year, assuming of course he has a similar confidence in the car as the majority of drivers do, and I’m only saying it that way as we have no idea at this point if the drivers are even going to like the feel of the new cars in general and/or for example if some will love the feel and some will hate it. Hopefully they’ll all love driving these new cars. And tires.

    4. McLaren is a 3rd tier team. They pitted RIC at the end of the last race and didn’t say anything when he wasn’t allowed to unlap like the drivers in front of him. Totally gutless. Not willing to fight for every position out there for their driver.

      1. It wouldn’t have made any difference if they joined in the tanty with Mercedes @jimfromus.
        Neither Ricciardo’s WDC position nor McLaren’s WCC position could be changed with that result.
        Accept that the pit stop gamble failed, get over it quickly and move on was their best option.

        They took it like decent sportspeople, unlike some of their competitors.

        1. I won’t say much more here as it has been discussed to death, but this is definitely where we see the ridiculous nature of Masi’s decision: 2 drivers/teams took exactly the same gamble, but were treated completely differently by the officials, so the gamble of one was allowed to succeed but the other was blocked and forced to fail.

          1. As someone who thought that controversial decision brought justice championship-wise, that is true.

            1. In 2022 if McLaren is ordered to not unlap and it could mean a podium, when they protest Masi can simply say they didn’t challenge the same decision in 2021. McLaren allowed the precedent to be set.

            2. @jimfromus

              And that’s where it stinks. This precedent allows Masi to decide who is allowed to unlap and who isn’t. In fact, this precedent allows Masi to do anything he wants with both the safety car and starting procedures. It would be perfectly within the rules, according to the stewards decision, for him to see a car leading by half a minute and deploy the safety car, without incident, to close the field up to make the race “more exciting”. Whether or not he would do that, setting a precedent that he is allowed to do so is ridiculous.

            3. @esploratore1

              Even if it “brought justice championship-wise”, 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

            4. @jimfromus Do we know for a fact that Mac didn’t go to Masi afterwards and discuss the situation? While things were going down Masi had TW and CH in his ears.

              @drmouse While you do acknowledge that Masi might not lean on this precedent you so strongly argue he has set, I think for one thing that may be discussed and changed, and for another this was a very unique situation. I think it highly unlikely that it will happen again, let alone that Masi now has some license to do what you suggest as an example, deploying a safety car without incident to close up the field. You’re taking it too far when you suggest this would fly or that Masi would think that would be the right thing to do in the vast vast majority of circumstances.

              This was likely a one-off borne of the type of season we had between two utterly top rivals in a season long battle, going into the final race tied, with an incident with a handful of laps to go, and Masi making the decision to not end such a season behind a safety car. Who knows if he would do something different in hindsight, but there is no need to assume that this type of thing is now to be expected in F1. I doubt we’ll ever see it again, as the odds of a repeat of what happened in the last race are very slim, and now they have something to have learned from if they feel the need.

              For all we know they will make a new rule to cover an identical situation happening, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Masi would welcome that so he doesn’t have to make such a tough decision in such a short amount of time, in such a hugely charged setting at that. I for one certainly have no concern whatsoever that we now suddenly have a rogue RD who thinks he can do whatever he wants to spice up the show.

              I think that if this exact circumstance happened in the second last race, it would have just finished behind the safety car. Perhaps they could make a rule specifically for the final races of seasons where, if there is an incident that happens within the last 10 laps of the season that is safety car worthy, just red flag the race, bring the cars in under parc ferme rules…nobody touches the cars, including to change tires…they suspend the race, clear the issue, and continue racing under the exact same conditions as just before the incident, and thus the race (the season) is guaranteed to finish under green without anyone being advantaged or disadvantaged in any way.

            5. @robbie

              I agree that this was a unique situation, as well as that they may specifically limit the race director’s powers with updated rules. In fact, that’s pretty much the only way I can see myself accepting any of this, because doing so would be a tacit acknowledgement that he should not have the power to do this.

              Personally, I would be in favour of a rule which brought out a red flag to stop a race ending under the safety car, or pretty much any fairly-designed rule to implement this policy. That’s the way things should be done: If you don’t like the way things are going, change the rules, don’t just ignore them or make up new ones.

              I am still firmly of the belief that Masi had an infinitely better option available to him written in the rules in leaving lapped cars where they were, and that his decision was the worst possible one for the sport (except that it has highlighted the ridiculous power he has available to him in a way which may lead to a rule change to stop it). The last lap would have actually been an exciting battle instead of a near-certainty of the easy overtake we saw, and there would have been much less controversy because he would have been following both the rules and a procedure he had used in the past. He could have pointed out that his other option, by the rulebook, was to let the race finish under the SC, which everyone had agreed not to do, and there would not have been any valid arguments against his decision. I’m pretty certain any suggestion that he should have done as he did would have been laughed at, if they were even made, as a ridiculous and illegal option…

            6. @jimfromus you’re assuming that Masi would choose to follow precedence in the first place, but we’ve seen Masi frequently deviate from that.

            7. This precedent allows Masi to decide who is allowed to unlap and who isn’t.

              But that’s not at all what happened, @drmouse.
              Masi didn’t didn’t decide who can or can’t unlap, only which cars in which track position can or can’t unlap.
              That is a notable difference, as it isn’t discriminating or intentionally affecting any particular competitor, only the track position they happen to be in. It could be anybody and for any reason…
              In reality, it’s comparable to getting a blue flag for being almost a lap down, despite how you got into that track position being completely irrelevant. It’s also no different to being caught out with a SC or VSC – where you may have driven past the pits but the guy behind you can come in. Fact is – that’s where you are, so that’s what you get. Bad luck, that’s racing.
              And in plain and simple terms, getting rid of a few lapped cars was a sensible application of the rules – with the only potential issue being that it hadn’t been done that way before.

              As for the Race Director’s power to apply race direction – they absolutely should be powerful. The buck stops with them, so they should have the right to make the calls. That’s their role.
              They won’t always be subjectively or even objectively right, but this is sport. A little bit.
              Let’s make the most of what little human aspect there is left, eh? Even if it can be intensely frustrating at times.

            8. @ S

              I completely disagree with your evaluation on a multitude of levels.

              This isn’t the luck of the draw, like where you happen to be when a safety car is thrown or when you get blue flags while being lapped. This is a specific decision by the race director about who is allowed to unlap and who isn’t. Even if you conclude that it only applies to choosing the position at which allowing lapped cars stops (which the precedent doesn’t really limit it to), it’s still hugely prejudicial.

              And in plain and simple terms, getting rid of a few lapped cars was a sensible application of the rules – with the only potential issue being that it hadn’t been done that way before.

              And you don’t see any issue in applying a brand new, unseen procedure, using a brand new, unseen interpretation of the rules, in a title deciding race, and in a way which hands a massive advantage to one driver over and above all others which he would not get from any previously-used one? You cannot see how that looks incredibly bad for the sport, particularly when the justification given (“don’t finish under the safety car”) could have been accomplished by one of the precedented and written procedures available?

              Let’s make the most of what little human aspect there is left, eh?

              Why not leave the “human aspect” to the drivers and teams wherever possible? Why do we need a “human aspect” in the application of the rules? The main thing that is complained about in terms of officiating is a lack of consistency, which has been getting worse and worse for years, with a massive spike this year. The more “human aspect” you allow, the worse this inconsistency will get.

              I want to see a larger “human aspect” on the track, with cars which are closer in performance and a greater highlight on driver skill. I don’t want that in the stewards office: I want definitive, agreed rules and predictable penalities for predictable offences. I don’t want random-seeming penalties which appear to have no relation to the rules or precepts precedents, with drivers and teams having little idea whether a move is allowed per how much they will be penalised if not. I certainly don’t want to allow the officials to ignore the rules and make up brand new ones in a way which massively distorts the on track action. No other sport I am aware of allows this kind of freedom to its officials, because it is unsporting. The very foundation of a sport is consistent and well defined rules constraining the competition in a predictable and fair manner.

            9. You’re welcome to disagree @drmouse, but that doesn’t make either of our opinions superior to the other. Nor objectively correct.
              It may be prejudicial to a position, but any competitor could be in that position for any reason, therefore it is a fair (in sporting terms) action to take. IMO.
              It can be seen as equally ‘prejudicial’ to enact other race direction actions, likewise the timing of those actions. It doesn’t mean that a result is being forced or that somebody is being targeted.
              I’m 100% confident that the FIA are not sitting there creating outcomes, but merely reacting to actions the way they see fit. And they do it the way they do because they have the authority to do so.

              And you don’t see any issue in applying a brand new, unseen procedure, using a brand new, unseen interpretation of the rules, in a title deciding race, and in a way which hands a massive advantage to one driver over and above all others which he would not get from any previously-used one?

              No, I don’t. We are watching sporting entertainment. Every decision requires a first time in order to set a precedent – not that precedents mean much in F1 anyway. It did not hand anyone anything, nor deny anyone anything.
              The race was won on the track, and lost on the track – not off it. And that’s what we all wanted.
              To quote Michael Masi himself – “It’s called a motor race. We went car racing.”

              Why not leave the “human aspect” to the drivers and teams wherever possible? Why do we need a “human aspect” in the application of the rules?

              Because the sporting aspect of F1 is a human activity. It is administered by humans. The rules are created, interpreted and agreed to by humans.
              Humans are inconsistent. Undeniable fact, and that will never change.
              I don’t like the inconsistency much either, but I’ll take it over a computer spitting out the coldest of cold hard decisions every time – just for sporting ‘purity.’
              I don’t feel that I need to agree with F1 all the time. It’s a living beast. It will inevitably do things that I don’t like, and I have to accept that. That’s life. I can always find other things to do with my time if I don’t like it enough.

              It seems to me that you might not want real-world F1, but perhaps a computer game version of it instead.

            10. @ S

              I don’t think I could disagree with you more on any point.

              Please note I’m a long term F1 fan, who has followed and supported many drivers and teams, but I’ve always been an F1 fan first and foremost. I cannot support what it became this season, because this was not a sport, particularly the final few laps. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but if F1 continues this way and follows what you want from it, it will lose me and many other long term, dedicated fans. Maybe they’re ok with this, maybe this is just the way it is going, but don’t expect me to lie down and take it while the sport I love is, in my eyes, destroyed.

            11. I’m glad you disagree @drmouse. It’s boring and unproductive when there is 100% agreement.
              I don’t know where the line is to cross from newcomer to long term F1 viewer, but I’d suggest we’re both well into the same category. That doesn’t mean we have to have the same values, interests or preferences, though. We are individuals, after all.
              Clearly we have different ideas and thresholds of acceptance for what F1 was, is and will be. And, dare I suggest, what value it holds in our lives.

              You think F1 just changed, where I think it ‘evolved’ a long time ago. As a sport, it died quite a while back. We’ve been watching ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ since not long after Bernie took over. Just a fancy suit and some occasionally entertaining puppetry.
              I’ve seen more than enough F1 to not have lofty expectations of it. I’ve had to accept that the rules are becoming increasingly flexible and bent further and further to the will of the (financial) stakeholders. I don’t expect the sporting aspect to take priority, because it hasn’t for a long time already.
              Sport is the medium, not the goal – the goal is to make money through advertising – and now also through franchising.
              The FIA is of course included in this. F1 is their primary income stream, and additionally their primary political and marketing vehicle. It’s their showpiece, and they unsurprisingly want it to be the most visible it can be.

              With every major controversy, issue or change that F1 has gone through in its evolution there have been people complaining and protesting just like you are. Has it made a substantial difference? Generally, not really.
              If F1 loses you, they’ll just gain someone else to replace you.
              And if they don’t, they’ll probably make even more drastic changes, because that’s what they do.
              Take it or leave it, the choice is yours.

            12. @ S

              I get it then. You are happy to watch it as an entertainment show without sporting values, and you believe it became that long ago. That’s a perfectly understandable viewpoint, and there are plenty of things I do watch for pure entertainment, just as there are many who watch WWE.

              On the flip side, I believe it has walked a line for a long time, sometimes stepping over slightly and doing so more this season than previously, but has completely crossed it now. To misquote Joey from Friends, “The line is a dot to them!”. As I am not prepared to watch F1 without it being a sport and having some sporting integrity, I’m out unless they at least haul it back to where it was.

            13. Also

              If F1 loses you, they’ll just gain someone else to replace you.
              And if they don’t, they’ll probably make even more drastic changes, because that’s what they do.
              Take it or leave it, the choice is yours.

              You are, of course, correct. If nothing is done to rectify this and I leave, I’m sure I won’t be missed. I don’t have to be happy about it, though, or stay quite about it, and I feel I’m entitle to do what I can (small though it may be) to prevent the sport I have loved for the vast majority of my life changing into something I can no longer follow.

    5. Yes, Ricciardo had a less than a great year for sure, made a little worse by Norris who had a terrific year. Of all of the drivers who switched teams, he had the slowest most painful transition. I think he needed the win in Italy more than the team did. In the second half, he did show some good pace, and with his being part of the development team for the new car, I’m sure he will be able to show that he deserves the reputation as one of the top drivers on the grid.

      1. Frankly, I don’t think the data supports the narrative of significant progress on Daniel’s part in the latter stages of the season.

        In fact, he finished races outside the points as often after his Italian GP victory as he did before, despite that being race 14/22.

        1. It was a weird season for him. I 50% buy the car adaption thing and 50% don’t. Ricciardo made his name beating Vettel. Vettel was beaten massively by Leclerc. Sainz was about the same pace as Lando, Sainz was a bit slower, but competitive with Leclerc. Also Sainz was the most competitive team mate Verstappen ever had. This all doesn’t prove anything precisely, but kind of leads me to think that maybe the new breed of drivers are a step better than the last generation.

          On the other hand Ricciardo beat Ocon conclusively, and Ocon wasn’t too bad against Alonso, who I rate highly.

          Everything about next years car is different, apart from the power train, so if the performance was because of car characteristics, then this is a total reset. I have no idea which drivers will adapt to the new cars yet. 50% chance it could be Ricciardo. Who the hell knows at this stage.

        2. @proesterchen I think you will find McLaren had several issues with the car over a number of the later races.

    6. Red Bull: I hope/expect they might change it up a bit. Their livery has been give or take the same since 2016, and I think the new car would be a great opportunity to change it up a bit.

      Well, I really like the bright yellow nose of the RBR as I can always tell the car from a distance. So many of the cars are just bland, especially the Alpine with that awful blue….

    7. Norris has had 3 to 4 years in that car and come good last season. Took a while. Ricciardo, one season, but he’s getting there.

    8. Re: COTD
      The comment does not substantiate reasons as to why Mick didn’t deserve to be ranked higher…yet it’s the COTD?
      Why is the COTD just picked to defend the owners view? Wow.

      1. Rather than attacking COTD and this website, why don’t you give your reasoning for putting Mick higher? What did he actually achieve this year other than outclassing possibly the worst driver the sport has seen, which every single other driver also did (including a driver that only made 2 appearances!)

      2. As tempting as it would be, ‘COTD’ does not stand for ‘Consensus of the Day’.

        A lot of people believe Schumacher should have earned a higher ranking and it’s easy to sympathise with them, but what stood out about that comment was that it disagreed with that consensus in a way that was respectful to Schumacher himself and those who believe he deserved higher.

        There’s no hesitation to give COTD to comments I might personally disagree with if they contribute to positive discussion. In this day and age, encouraging that kind of positive, respectful discourse in online discussions about F1 is something we need more of which I absolutely intend to promote.

        1. Exactly, the CotD has often included comments that might be somewhat controversial and reflecting a minority point of view, that way they can be the focus of more discussion of the topic.

          Those are often the best comments.

          1. @willwood @bascb Well said, both of you. I know for me I understood from day one that cotd was not meant as ‘consensus of the day’ but rather a great jumping off point for further discussion. I think some assume the c is for consensus which is why they carry an opinion that this cite has a certain favourite driver or team and acts like it, when that is not the case overwhelmingly in my experience.

    9. Looks like the link on the Correa-Charouz article is broken @willwoodhere is the correct one

      1. Why did I read that in Lando’s voice

    10. There was a time not long ago when giving a driver a couple of races to get up to speed was thought of as a generous gift, now the norm seems to be to talk about an entire season.

      These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world by some margin, so theres simply no excuse not to be able to jump in a car and be comfortable after a few runs. If one driver can’t do it, there is a long line of others who could.

      1. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world by some margin

        Nobody really believes that, do they?
        To be honest, I think it not only massively misrepresents F1 to make this claim of F1 drivers being “the best” – but it also does a huge disservice to drivers from every other motorsports category.
        It also shows quite a large misunderstanding of motorsports and competitive driving.

        If it were true, though – that must mean that Mazepin is actually one of the 20 best drivers in the world, with a long gap to 21st.
        I reckon he’d be pretty happy with that.

        1. More than once I have used the formulation, “These are supposed to be 19 of the best drivers in the world, and Nikita Mazepin.” I trust that addresses your points, and would encourage everyone to do the same.

          1. Not really, @red-andy.
            Mazepin is no less suited or qualified for F1 than anyone else. After all, every F1 driver gets into F1 with somebody else’s money, and on the back of other race teams’ performance.

            Even if there were such a thing, nobody will ever know who is a ‘better’ driver – least of all in F1. Not even if it were a static measurement….

            To be fair to Mazepin, he is undoubtedly a more talented and experienced racing driver than an enormous number of people who criticise him… Many of whom have probably never driven anything on a racing circuit in competition, never mind a proper racing car.
            Dare I say that not only is Haas F1 Team lucky to have him, but so is F1. This is all a money show after all, and without such financially secure drivers, there might well be only 9 – or 8, or even as few as 7 – teams on the grid currently.

            How great would F1 be then?

      2. A not so long time ago teams had unlimited testing and drivers had the ability to get used to cars before hitting the track. Now they have 1.5 days?

      3. @nandy

        There was a time not long ago when giving a driver a couple of races to get up to speed was thought of as a generous gift

        That’s actually a relatively new thought process as in decades past the young/rookie drivers tended to be given a season to learn with mistakes, accidents & so on expected throughout that season. They weren’t really fully judged, written off or whatever until they were into there 2nd year in the sport.

        They would certainly take criticism if they started making too many mistakes in the rookie year, But mistakes were expected & forgiven. They were also not really criticized too much for been off the pace of a more experienced team mate as a rookie driver was never really expected to beat a more experienced team mate in the first year. If they did so then great but if they didn’t it was just seen as part of the learning process.

        The thought process that drivers should be upto speed & making fewer mistakes after a couple of races wasn’t something that really started to become the normal way of thinking until after Lewis Hamilton’s rookie season. That sort of created expectations for all subsequent rookies which I don’t think is realistic for everyone.

        1. Agreed. Until fairly recently, a rookie was not expected to be up to full performance straight away. The “rookie season” was expected to be a time of learning, not great performance, and that was even with unlimited testing available away from Grand Prix weekends.

          That said, if I remember correctly an experienced driver joining a team was expected to be up to speed quickly. A few races in, if they weren’t performing there would be serious questions asked. Again, though, this was with unlimited testing, so they would normally have had far more time behind the wheel before they got to their first weekend for the team.

    11. I thought Ricciardo was very disappointing last year but I think given his prior history he’s earned some leniency for a bad year in transition but he does need to deliver more this year. I personally think Norris is the real deal and though Ricciardo will be closer this year, we may come to accept the gap might have more to do with the guy in the second car.

      1. If you think about it, norris is likely a verstappen, so would be normal if ricciardo gets closer but is not able to beat him on pace, but indeed he needs to do better than this year.

        1. That’s my thoughts but Norris needs to keep progressing to show he’s next level.

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