Despite having one of his best weekends with McLaren in Austin, Daniel Ricciardo believes he can still improve with his Formula One car.
After a difficult first year with McLaren in which Ricciardo had to adapt his driving style from last year’s Renault to the McLaren, the Australian has slowly but steadily found speed and comfort with the MCL35M.
Aside from his stunning victory in the Italian Grand Prix in September, Ricciardo had a solid showing in the US Grand Prix, qualifying sixth and finished fifth, beating teammate Lando Norris in the process.
Ricciardo gained a position in the race by passing Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, and he then held off the quicker Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
He promised afterwards that he may still improve because he still makes tiny errors.
“Yes, it definitely was a better weekend, it was a smoother weekend but there are still definitely moments in the weekend where I am still, ‘I know I can do better, I still make a few mistakes’,” Ricciardo said.
“I am not always getting on top of the car, but it is coming and it is still going to take a bit of time.”
Andreas Seidl, McLaren team principal, said Ricciardo’s performance was on pace with his Monza victory, and he was encouraged by the obvious progress.
“It was definitely a very strong weekend from Daniel, and I think it is fair to say together with Monza probably his strongest weekend with us,” said Seidl.
“Maybe it’s even fair to say it was his best weekend with us so far on a track that has a lot of different corner types as well, so I’m very happy with what he could pull off this weekend.
“It was also a great performance on his side to keep Carlos behind the entire race, being under massive pressure, so I’m happy with that.”
When asked where Ricciardo could improve, Seidl replied he needs more time in the car to get comfortable and fit his driving style to what the car need to go fast.
“He’s saying himself; I don’t think he’s fully comfortable yet with our car in any condition or track layout or situation ,” Seidl explained.
“With him now spending more and more time in our car, spending more and more time doing laps I think it’s just natural that there will still come more from his side, which is obviously encouraging.
“At the same time, it was a great weekend from his side here in Austin and a very strong drive today in the race, which shows why we wanted to get him on board.”
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