Daniel Ricciardo’s troubles at the Bahrain Grand Prix were largely due to damage to his car upon impact with Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, McLaren revealed.
The Australian had a lackluster first appearance with his new team, finishing seventh, three places behind his teammate Lando Norris, despite a place in front of him on the grid.
After being passed by Norris on the first lap, Ricciardo struggled to get back into the fray, struggling with pace for much of the second half of the race.
The 31-year-old admitted he “has work to do” to keep pace with the podium. But that was before McLaren revealed that the floor of Ricciardo’s car had been damaged on impact with Gasly during a restart of the safety car.
Team manager Andreas Seidl said the damage “cost a lot of support”, adding that “Daniel used his experience to deal with the problems and score important points for the team.”
The development throws Ricciardo’s comments in a new light, after admitting that he had suggested he was still mastering his new ride and adjusting his Renault driving style.
“As the race progressed I felt like I was just falling back and struggling to push on the tire and keep (the temperature of the tire). feeling like I would just cook it, ”he said.
“I’m sure there are still improvements I can make with the car and probably learn what an ideal point I’m looking for in the setup.
“I feel like there is definitely still more to learn. But I’m definitely a lot closer to where I need to be. It’s just going to take some time… but Imola is next. I love this place and we will go quickly. “
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