Daniel Ricciardo reveals ‘frustrating’ reason he’s still struggling at McLaren

Following two disappointing performances on the streets of Monte Carlo and Baku, F1 star Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to the “more forgiving” tracks of France and Belgium.

Ricciardo’s underwhelming maiden season with McLaren continued in Monaco and Azerbaijan, with the Australian placing 12th and ninth respectively on the street circuits.

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The 31-year-old subsequently slipped down to 10th in the F1 drivers’ standings, while McLaren teammate Lando Norris sits just three points behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in fourth.

Ricciardo has conceded he is still adapting to the MCL35M, but believes he can unearth some momentum on less frenzied tracks at the French and Austrian Grand Prix.

“The frustrating thing is I kind of know what it needs, but it is just so hard to just get it right. And it’s just such a small window,” Ricciardo said, as reported by Motorsport.com.

“So there’ll be a lap where I can do it, but to repeat that 55 laps consecutively or whatever, that’s where it’s hard. And I think that’s why I’m glad just to finish the race and keep trialling and erroring, and all that sort of stuff.

“So I’m looking forward to some open circuits, circuits that are a bit more forgiving of mistakes. And I think that’ll probably fast track my learning in a triple-header just to keep some rhythm.”

Daniel Ricciardo is yet to clinch a podium for McLaren.Source:Getty Images

Ricciardo crashed into the wall during a chaotic qualifying session in Baku and started the Azerbaijan Grand Prix 13th on the grid.

“It’s a street circuit, if you’re going to push to the limit, then there’s already a risk of things happening,” he said.

“And then if I’m still trying to probably find where exactly the limit is, then the likelihood is obviously that bit higher.

“It’s obviously a shame that it bit me in qualy, as opposed to maybe a practice, but at the same time, qualy is where you are trying to really peak everything you’ve learned from the car, and get it out of it.

“I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m kind of excited to go to Le Castellet (in France), and just get obviously a fairly, I would say, basic track to maybe get away with a few more mistakes on.

“The kind of familiarity of that, and then I guess a double-header in Austria, will hopefully make this kind of learning phase a bit easier. But it is what it is. It’s obviously on a knife-edge, and I’m just trying to get the most out of it.”

The F1 is preparing for a triple-header of races over the next three weekends — one in Le Castellet and two in Styria.

The French Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, with lights out at 11pm AEST.

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