Ricciardo urged to 'chill' as wait to extract pace becomes 'hard to take'

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Daniel Ricciardo admits McLaren has urged him to "chill" as he continues to adapt to his new car.

Like all drivers at new teams in 2021, a lack of testing has left the Australian on the back foot versus teammate Lando Norris, who has finished fourth and third at the opening two races.

In contrast, Ricciardo finished 20 seconds behind in Bahrain and had to let Lando through in the rain at Imola, and patience after that race was starting to wear thin.

“It’s hard to take because I’m sort of a veteran now so why should it take time,” he admitted to Sky Sports.

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“I’m experienced coming into this team and everyone is kind of treating me like a rookie, which kind of is true because I’m a rookie with this car and this environment.

“After Imola, I was upset that I couldn’t do better and get more, but Andreas [Seidl, McLaren team boss] and Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO], they are all just like ‘chill dude, it’s going to come’. I won’t chill too much, but I know that it’ll come eventually.”

And on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix, there were the first signs of Ricciardo getting on top of the MCL35M, as he finished three-tenths ahead of Norris in Practice 2.

“It was a better day personally for me,” he reflected.

“I just felt like I got on with it from the start of FP1. I think the feeling, or the signs of what I felt today, are what I hope to be inevitable and it will come over time.

“But certainly I felt like today I took a step forward in terms of my confidence in the car and my ability to just hang it out a little bit more.”

Explaining the areas he had worked on since Imola, Ricciardo explained: “The car, at least the tendency rewards a bit of a different technique and a bit of a different style and that’s from turning in to the way you use the brake and then get back on throttle.

“It’s a little unique, so I’ve been working on that in the simulator and tried to put that into display today. I think that was coming and naturally just getting more confident with the way the car slides.

“At some corners, I can for sure use my style, but for the majority, the best way to drive it is a different style.

“I’m trying to let the guys know where the weaknesses are and how I’d like to drive the car, so we’re trying to bring some updates to address that, but until then, I’ll just learn how to drive it how it is.”