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Formula 1 Dutch GP

Ricciardo never wants to go back to McLaren F1 level of driving style detail

AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo says he never wants to get bogged down in the level of detail of his driving style like during his troubled stint at McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Ricciardo's three-year McLaren contract was ended one year early last winter after the Australian struggled to get on with the team's F1 cars.

In the difficult-to-handle McLaren, Ricciardo was consistently behind team-mate Lando Norris during his two seasons in Woking, despite taking a shock win at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was then snapped up by Red Bull as a third driver during his sabbatical until he was loaned out to sister team AlphaTauri ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix as an early replacement for Nyck de Vries.

Ricciardo impressed on his first outings with the tricky AT04 and while he still needs to fully adapt to the car, he vowed never to go to the level of detail that he went through at McLaren.

His efforts to change his driving style at McLaren made him "unrecognisable" on his Red Bull simulator return according to team boss Christian Horner, with Ricciardo having to rebuild his confidence in subsequent runs and a convincing Silverstone tyre test.

When asked if Ricciardo had to dig as deep as he did at McLaren to get up to speed in the AlphaTauri, Ricciardo replied: "I don't want to get into that detail ever again.

"I think even through year one at McLaren, at the summer break I learned we were probably going into too much. We needed to change the approach a little bit.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

"It was all in everyone's best interests trying to make it work but I felt like I've come to the realisation that wasn't working for me. We still probably did too much in hindsight, but maybe that works for another driver, so it is what it is."

Ricciardo said he was able to use his natural driving style upon his return to the Faenza squad and found the AlphaTauri to be better suited to him, even if the car is lacking aerodynamic load compared to most of its competitors.

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"I felt a little bit more of it. On lap one I already felt like I was getting kind of the feedback that maybe I would expect or like, so that was important," Ricciardo replied when asked by Autosport about how the AlphaTauri AT04 compares to his old McLaren.

"Maybe I'll find things that I've just got to work on that don't quite correlate to my feeling, so I expect still some maybe challenges along the way.

"But the first impression was that it did give me a little bit more of a familiar feeling. That was also important because I was hoping to feel something like that."

Additional reporting by Matt Kew

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