Ricciardo won't 'moan and cry' about early McLaren woes

By Sports Desk March 20, 2022

Daniel Ricciardo qualified in 18th on Saturday as McLaren endured a tough start to the Bahrain Grand Prix, but the Australian vowed to "get on with it".

McLaren were fighting with Ferrari at the front of the Formula One midfield in 2021, yet the first weekend of the new season suggests the Scuderia have left their rivals behind.

Ferrari had Charles Leclerc on pole and Carlos Sainz in the top three, with all teams using their engines performing well in qualifying.

By contrast, Ricciardo failed to make Q2, and McLaren team-mate Lando Norris was little better in 13th.

A challenge in Sunday's race appears highly unlikely, but McLaren will continue to work to get their young campaign back on track as soon as possible.

"The only way we're going to move forward is if we put our eyes forward and get on with it," said Ricciardo, who missed the end of pre-season due to coronavirus. "And I think that's important as well for team morale.

"If we just sit and moan and cry... Of course, in qualifying, I'm not happy with 18th, but there's no good being upset about it and not doing anything.

"It's going to require action and effort from all of us, but I think that should motivate us to do better and want to do better. 

"I know we believe that we can be obviously a lot further up the grid, so it's fuel for the fire. It might be a slow burn for now, but that's all we can do to make things better."

Norris is certainly not expecting sudden improvement on Sunday, while he added a turnaround in time for next week's Saudi Arabian GP is also asking a lot.

"There are still a lot of positives – just sadly more negatives than positives," he said. "It's just about time and working on them. I think now we understand them more than ever; it's simply about putting them into action.

"But it's not an overnight job, it's not something that we're going to turn up [on Sunday] and be amazing, or turn up to Saudi and be amazing.

"It will take time, and [the team] are going to be working hard to try to make those improvements."

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    The Briton was 0.163 seconds slower than pace-setter Carlos Sainz in FP2, while compatriot Lando Norris was third and championship leader Max Verstappen in fourth.

    Hamilton has yet to win a race this season, but he offered plenty of promise heading into a big weekend on home soil at a packed Silverstone with his performance in practice.

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    "It's bouncing still, quite a bit," he said. "Not necessarily on the straights but through the corners it's pretty harsh – not physically harsh but in the car on the tyres and everything.

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    "Our long run pace isn't as good as the other guys but it's not miles off. We've definitely made an improvement. I'm sure overnight we can work and improve the car a bit more."

    Hamilton may have endured a difficult campaign to date, lagging as he does 98 points behind leader Verstappen, but he boasts an impressive record on his home turf.

    The 37-year-old has won the British Grand Prix eight times and could become the driver to have won the most races at a single Grand Prix with victory this weekend.

    Mercedes, meanwhile, have recorded eight of the last nine wins at Silverstone, while also taking eight of the last nine poles.

    McLaren driver Norris looks good value to challenge for a second podium of 2022 after a surprising rise up the timesheets, having finished 15th last time out in Canada.

    "As good as it looked, it is still difficult to put things together and be consistent but I am happy," he said.

    "The car seems to be in a decent place, at least a little better than we were expecting."

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    Sebastian Vettel was among those who spoke out in support of Hamilton in Thursday's media session, addressing the abuse that the British driver has faced throughout his career.

    "I think it’s more than just the recent, it’s what he and his family has been through his entire life," he said.

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