Ricciardo: McLaren F1 team still "half a step behind" at Imola

Daniel Ricciardo believes McLaren is still “half a step behind” in its preparations for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after losing half of its Formula 1 practice running at Imola.

Ricciardo: McLaren F1 team still "half a step behind" at Imola

Ricciardo was sidelined by a power unit issue in the second and final practice session on Saturday morning, while team-mate Lando Norris managed only six laps due to a brake system problem.

Although Norris slipped from third on the starting grid from the sprint race to finish fifth ahead of Ricciardo in P6, McLaren only trailed the Ferrari and Red Bull cars, making it the third-fastest team. 

It means Norris and Ricciardo will lock out the third row of the grid for Sunday’s race, which is expected to offer strategies dominated by the medium and hard-compound tyres.

McLaren was unable to complete any meaningful running on either tyre so far this weekend after rain impacted FP1 and qualifying on Friday.

“We’re still going into tomorrow [Sunday] probably not as prepared as some others,” Ricciardo conceded.

“I guess in a way that’s partially true, because I’m sure some today started with a full tank and did a little bit in the second practice. We’re still, let’s say, half a step behind, if you will. Today was a full step.

“So maybe there’s a bit of a compromise tomorrow. I think we learned enough today to have confidence going into tomorrow without any real hesitation or big question marks. We know enough to I think execute a good enough race.

“I wouldn’t say today was a concern, but a bit more of an unknown. I can’t say I have that feeling for tomorrow.”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Tyre management proved particularly difficult for Norris in the sprint race. The British driver explained how he tried to keep pace with the lead duo of Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, only to push too hard, but he felt he would not have been able to keep Sergio Perez or Carlos Sainz back regardless.

“It’s hard to judge your own pace compared to guys who are 1.5 seconds quicker,” Norris said.

“You always kinds of want to have a chance to go with them. Especially because of knowing where Carlos was and Sergio, the best thing was to try and make a gap and make the gap as big as possible.

“Obviously no matter what I did, they still would have passed me. I used too much.”

Read Also:

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl explained that the power unit problems for Ricciardo emerged when the team fired up the MCL36 on Saturday morning, and that it “simply took a lot of time to fix and figure it out”.

“On Lando’s side, we experienced an issue straight away with the brake system on our side, so we had to change a component which took a lot of time,” Seidl said.

“I’m very happy with the outcome of today’s race. Everything that was possible for us, the team executed well, which obviously puts us in a great position for a good fight for tomorrow for points.”

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen "still not a fan" of F1 sprint races, despite Imola win
Previous article

Verstappen "still not a fan" of F1 sprint races, despite Imola win

Next article

Alonso: ‘Chaos is guaranteed’ if rain hits Imola F1 race

Alonso: ‘Chaos is guaranteed’ if rain hits Imola F1 race
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022