Startled Ricciardo’s worrying Monaco reaction

Daniel Ricciardo says he won’t over-analyse his Monaco Grand Prix disappointment, but will instead “step away for a few days.”

The Australian’s season hit rock-bottom around the streets of the principality, finishing a distant 12th, including the humiliating moment when he was lapped by teammate Lando Norris, who finished third.

It’s the fourth time in five races Ricciardo has finished behind his much less experienced teammate.

The damage in Monaco was done on Saturday, when Ricciardo could only manage 12th on the grid, while Norris lined up fifth, but qualifying wasn’t just a one-off blip, with the Australian well off the pace all weekend.

It continued a worrying trend for Ricciardo, who has struggled to adapt to the McLaren since joining the team this season.

But the Australian said his attention will quickly turn to the next race in Azerbaijan, rather than worrying too much about Monaco.

“Just a strange weekend really from the get-go and one to forget,” he said. “I think probably I’m not going to over-analyse this one, I think just forward for Baku and go from there.

“This year there has certainly been those races where it is like ‘yeah I’ve got to find a bit more but it will come’, I mean this weekend was more of an anomaly with such a big difference.

“Getting lapped [by Norris], might be the first time [by a team-mate], I don’t really know what to say.

“I will definitely look into it, but I think when it is a weekend like this and as far off as it was, probably best just to step away for a few days.”

Ricciardo spent much of his race in traffic, as is the norm for the midfield runners at Monaco, but team boss Andreas Seidl said there were some positives to take out of the weekend.

“I don’t think it was such a bad race from Daniel’s side,” Seidl told Speedcafe.com.

“I think there were periods in the race when he had free air where he could actually show what he’s able to do here around Monaco.

“But again, if you start this race here in P11, and unfortunately drop back in the first corner two positions, your race is done.”

In a separate interview after qualifying, Seidl explained that the team understands why Ricciardo can’t match the pace of Norris.

“We have, when we look into the data, a clear idea of why Daniel couldn’t produce the laptime in Q2 to progress to Q3,” he told the-race.com.

“Our car needs a certain way of driving it in order to extract the performance that Lando can extract from it.

“This is not natural for Daniel. And that’s obviously an issue and takes time until you can recalibrate yourself in order to make it natural for yourself.”

Ricciardo confirmed over the weekend that his setup is not substantially different to that used by Norris, although Seidl says the team is trying to adapt the car to the Australian’s style.

“It’s also the task for us to see what we can do on the car, change it, in order to make it more natural for him so that he can extract the performance again [that] we are all used to from him, with a clear objective to not lose overall car performance by that,” Seidl added.

“That’s the process we’re in at the moment. I’m impressed with how both the team and Daniel are handling this challenging situation.

“We simply need more time and then in some races we will not talk about this issue anymore.”

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