Ricciardo more confident in McLaren F1 car after "mini breakthrough"

Daniel Ricciardo says increased confidence in his upgraded McLaren Formula 1 car is behind his strong Spanish Grand Prix qualifying performance, which he labelled as a "mini breakthrough".

Ricciardo more confident in McLaren F1 car after "mini breakthrough"

Ricciardo qualified seventh in Saturday's session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, outpacing team-mate Lando Norris - who had a disrupted Q3 session - by four tenths.

While Ricciardo managed to start in front of Norris for two of 2021's first three grands prix, he has struggled to adapt to his new car so far, which especially shone through on Sundays.

Coming a week after a slightly disappointing Portuguese GP, in which Ricciardo didn't make it through to Q2 and finished ninth, the Australian appeared more at one with the MCL35M in Spain.

Ricciardo explained setting up McLaren's new upgrades, which include a slightly revised front wing and a new floor concept, helped him gain confidence in Barcelona's fast corners, which he was lacking in the first three races of the 2021 season.

In Q3 Ricciardo was the quickest in the first sector, which includes the high-speed Turn 3, illustrating that his faith in the car has grown.

"Probably the set-up, which then allowed me to drive better and more confidently," Ricciardo said when asked what was behind his gains compared to a low-key Friday.

"The car was tricky yesterday, I just didn't have a whole lot of confidence in the high-speed stuff, to be honest.

"So, I think that showed today. I think in sector one we were pretty quick, I went purple a few times.

"Once you get into one, you pretty much just jump on the throttle and hold on. And so I certainly had the confidence to hold on to it today.

"And we brought some updates. And I think basically, we improved the set-up to make the updates work today. So that was probably when we found the pace."

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

When asked if he would call his Saturday performance a breakthrough, Ricciardo replied: "There are still some corners on track, which I'm still finding my way [at], so to speak. So it's a mini breakthrough, let's say that.

"The narrative for sure has been it's taken time to get up to speed and also I think Lando has been driving exceptionally well. So these two factors have been challenging, I guess.

"It's certainly a more positive day and in saying that, there's still a little bit of what could have been because we missed the last run [in Q3]. We ran out of time."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Spanish Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Previous article

F1 Spanish Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Next article

Mazepin: F1's qualifying no-overtaking etiquette is flawed

Mazepin: F1's qualifying no-overtaking etiquette is flawed
Load comments
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021