LONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 5 – Daniel Ricciardo feels the McLaren team have what it takes to turn around their slow start to the 2022 Formula 1 season around and claim a victory later in the year.
So far in the opening two races at Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the MCL36 has only been the eighth fastest car having scored just six points thanks to Lando Norris claiming seventh place in the last race.
The struggle for teams early in the season, including McLaren, has been a lack of downforce and therefore grip in the early stages of the season.
However, Ricciardo feels McLaren have moved beyond the “crisis mode” of Bahrain to make a significant improvement at Saudi Arabia, which has given him hope for the rest of the season.
“If it comes, it will come a bit later than certainly desired,” said Ricciardo when asked about challenging towards the front of the grid.
“But without getting ahead [of ourselves], if we were to come and win a race at some point this year, I wouldn’t actually be surprised because I still believe in the team and the process we have in place and the people we have in place to get the job done.
“I have 100% faith and belief in people like Andreas [Seidl, team principal].
“[Bahrain] was a bit of a crisis mode. I think we’ve got ourselves out of that, but it’s true we’ve got to turn this ship around and I think he’s at least one of the best guys to do it.
“So ask me in six months time and I might not be surprised where we are.”
Heading to his home race in Australia this weekend, Ricciardo said if they were able to get in to the top 10 it would be like a small victory for the McLaren team.
“[The Saudi Arabia form] I would put down to circuit characteristics,” said Ricciardo. “I’m really hoping that Bahrain was a bit of a bogey situation for us.
“We didn’t really have much [new in Saudi Arabia], we cleaned up a few things in terms of even still stuff with the brakes but I think it was just the circuit suited us.
“Australia is flowing so perhaps that comes to us again and maybe we could fight for points.
“I know that’s not aiming very high, but that’s really all we can aim for now until we get some big updates.
“Anything inside the top 10 we’ll take as a little victory for now,” Ricciardo added.