'Not natural': McLaren's startling confession about Daniel Ricciardo

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Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here in 2020.
Daniel Ricciardo has suffered a tumultuous start to his F1 career at McLaren. (Photo by Faith Moran/GC Images)

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has provided an insight into Daniel Ricciardo's worrying form slump, revealing the Aussie driver is still learning the ropes in his new car.

Ricciardo suffered the humiliation of being lapped by teammate Lando Norris in the Monaco Grand Prix, despite not suffering any significant mishaps during the race.

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The fact that one McLaren driver could finish third and the other way back in 12th left Formula One fans and pundits baffled.

Norris has now finished ahead of Ricciardo in four of five races so far this season, despite the Aussie signing with McLaren as the No.1 driver.

Speaking on Wednesday, Seidl was asked point-blank why Ricciardo has failed to live up to the hype.

According to the McLaren boss, the Aussie is simply still learning how to drive his new MCL35M after making the switch from Renault.

“In order to drive our car fast at the moment, you need a special driving style which is not natural for Daniel,” Seidl told F1.com.

“That’s why it’s not easy for him to get the laps in and extract the performance.

“We simply have to keep working together as one team: Stay calm, keep learning, keep analysing and do two things, which is him further adapting to our car, because he sees that the potential is there, which is the positive thing for him to see that and that Lando can pull it off.

“And at the same time we look at the team side as well to see what we can do to help him on the car side, to get back this natural feeling, which you need to go fast. That’s where we are.”

Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here in action during the Monaco Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo in action during the Monaco Grand Prix. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo baffled by McLaren struggles

Speaking after the Monaco Grand Prix, Ricciardo said he needed to reassess and move on as quickly as possible.

“I think the whole weekend was simply just a weekend to forget, for me personally,” he said.

“Obviously car 4 (Norris) and the rest of the team got a podium and I obviously want to congratulate them and they got it right.

“I don’t even know if we got it wrong, we just never got going. We didn’t really do a crazy different set-up, the cars are, I want to say, nearly identical from a set-up point of view, I’m not really trying to be too clever with that either, I’ve got more to learn with this car than Lando does, so I’m not trying to be too different. Trying to follow suit and move forward but just a strange weekend really from the get-go and one to forget.

“I’m probably not going to over-analyse this one, just move forward for Baku and go from there.”

Sky Sports commentator David Croft said during the race: “McLaren were hoping to see two cars on the track together on the streets of Monaco, but not like this," while Paul di Resta said Ricciardo would be feeling lower than low.

“This is going to be the most painful night he’s ever going to have in his Formula One career,” Di Resta said.

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