Daniel Ricciardo says he worked hard in a McLaren simulator after the last race in Monaco to help him and the team to understand and analyze key areas where he needs to improve to close the gap with team-mate Land Norris.
After the first five races in 2021, Norris emerged as the team leader with two podiums and 56 points, 32 more than Ricciardo, and the third-ranked driver of the championship in Monaco overtook him for the entire lap, which was the first time this season that the Australian was left without points.
The 2017 Grand Prix winner of Azerbaijan says that McLaren’s MCL35M car has good potential, but that it simply has to connect all the parts to unlock it. “Monaco wasn’t my weekend, but I’m looking forward to hitting back,” Ricciardo said.
"It was important for me to find some time to get back in my head and to focus on the eve of the trip to Baku." “The team and I worked hard in the simulator to try to understand, analyze and identify key areas where we need to improve.
We know that the car has good potential, we just have to put all the parts together to unlock it. ” "There's still an element of habituation when adapting to a car that I'm sure will come with more time behind the wheel."
"I will continue to work on it, build on the progress we have made in Portugal and Spain and try to be one with the car."
Ricciardo celebrated at the 2017 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan driving for Red Bull, where in 2018 he collided with teammate Verstappen, and the last Grand Prix of Azerbaijan (2019) he drove for Renault.
“Baku is a really great street track and one of the races where potentially anything can happen,” he said. "The track is known for one of the longest routes in the calendar with three cars that can run in parallel on the way to the first bend."
"I hope we can adjust the car well from the start on Friday and have a solid weekend." Norris is also looking forward to challenging the street track in Baku after a fantastic start to a season in which he finished four of the top five races in the top five and is the only driver, along with Verstappen and Hamilton, to win the points in all races.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the car and racing on another street track for the second race in a row,” Norris said. "Baku is a unique race with a mix of long routes and slow turns that make it an exciting challenge to master."
"It's also unpredictable because you always have the feeling that there will be an opportunity, so we have to be ready to get the most out of them if they come to us."