“That definitely was fun, coming through the field. I made hard work for myself yesterday, and that’s why I was obviously so upset, because those qualifyings do shape your weekend.”
Ricciardo enjoyed fighting through, but he concedes that there is much to improve: “We’ve still got some work to do. But actually the clean laps I did, obviously, I was happy. But then there are still mistakes during the race. And most of the mistakes came from the same thing.
“Of course, updates will help, but I think actually just in set-up, I can help myself in that area. So it’s probably something I’ve just maybe missed the first few races, and I think I can probably just change a little bit the set-up to help me in this area. So kind of optimistic looking at Barcelona.”
Ricciardo has a very specific issue that he’s been struggling with, especially in Portugal – one that explains why he’s not comfortable when pushing to the limit.
“To be honest, just locking – locking brakes. Well, it’s a bit of locking, and sometimes it’s losing the rear. But there’s a fine line, I guess. And I think probably there’s a period in the kind of entry phase where the car is on a knife-edge.
“I feel like there’s probably a set-up solution where I can just open that and not be on such a knife’s edge”
“And I feel like there’s probably a set-up solution where I can just open that and not be on such a knife’s edge, because it is really sensitive.
“And I think Lando is certainly able to drive around that better than me at the moment. And probably to fast track my learning, I can just try something with set-up that opens our window, and it’s probably with the suspension or something like that.”
Three weekends in, and having sampled the car on three different tracks, Ricciardo is still learning about how to get the most out of it. The good news is that he is getting a decent handle on what direction to take.
“Definitely after Bahrain and Imola, I had a clear direction for the team as far as updates and feedback to aero, like ‘Okay, this is where we need to improve the car looking forward’. But I still wasn’t sure what I want currently in the car and then how I want to set up the car.