Team boss Andreas Seidl has explained why Daniel Ricciardo has been unable to match the pace of teammate Lando Norris.
McLaren boss Andreas Seidl says it will be “a few more race weekends” before Daniel Ricciardo is fully up to speed in his new team.
Ricciardo has struggled in comparison to new teammate Lando Norris this year, beaten in both races so far, and suffering the indignity of being asked to move aside for the Englishman in Sunday’s race at Imola.
The Australian isn’t the only driver struggling in a new car in 2021, with Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz all trailing their teammates after two rounds with their respective teams.
Each team had only three days of pre-season testing, which was split between their two drivers. It means Ricciardo had only a day and a half to adapt to the McLaren before the Bahrain Grand Prix, while the race at Imola was the first time he’d driven a McLaren in the wet.
“We know it is not just straightforward to jump from one car into another one, and only have one and half days of testing,” Seidl said.
“And we have seen from other drivers, all these drivers are very talented and have a lot of experience, and they adapt very quickly and straightaway.
“But these cars are complex, and to find these last two, three, four, tenths, but also make the difference when how comfortable they are to push these cars to the limit, that is not straightforward to find and get out of these cars.”
Despite Ricciardo’s initial struggles to keep pace with Norris, Seidl is confident the Australia will soon be able to get the best out of the car.
“That takes time. It is not a surprise,” he said.
“It is part of the process of integrating a new driver, and with the experience Daniel has, in the experience we have within the team, it is just a matter of a few more race weekends before Daniel is fully comfortable in our car.”
Norris has finished fourth and third in the two races so far, while Ricciardo has been down in seventh and sixth. Norris sits third in the championship with 27 points, nearly double Ricciardo’s tally of 14.
The championship continues next weekend in Portugal.
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