Daniel Ricciardo has gone back to basics – spending hours and hours in the simulator – as he looks to put a disappointing result in Monaco in his rearview mirror in Baku.
On his way to a “miserable” P12, Ricciardo, who won the 2018 Monaco race, had even been lapped by Lando Norris.
Ricciardo won the Baku GP in 2017 and said before this weekend’s race he is doing everything possible to avoid repeating last weekend’s result with hours of practice in the McLaren simulator.
“Monaco wasn’t my weekend but I’m looking to bounce back. It’s been important to take time to reset and refocus before heading to Baku. The team and I have been working hard in the sim to understand, analyse and pinpoint the key areas we need to improve. We know the car has good potential, we just need to put all pieces together to unlock it.”
Currently, Ricciardo sits eighth in the standings with 24 points. Norris is third in the standings with 56 points and commented that he’s still working on “adapting” to his new car.
“There’s still that element of adapting to a new car which I’m sure will come with the more time and mileage behind the wheel. I’m going to keep working at it, build on the progress we made in Portugal and Spain and try to feel as one with the car.”
Azerbaijan has been a mixed bag for the Australian, who finished seventh here in 2016 from second and won from 10th in 2017, but collided with Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in 2018.
Despite suffering an accident in his sole appearance with Renault in 2019, he said he was looking forward to what lies ahead in Baku this weekend.
“Baku is a really cool street circuit and one of those races where potentially anything could happen. The track is known for having one of the longest straights on the calendar with three cars being able to run side-by-side as you head into Turn 1. Hopefully, we can get the car into the right window from the off on Friday and have a solid weekend,” concluded Ricciardo.
Ricciardo’s team boss Andreas Seidl is looking forward to Baku, a race that favours his teams’ power with long straights, as the papaya outfit look set for another podium finish.
“After an eventful weekend in Monaco, that saw us on the podium for the second time in five races, our attention now turns to another exciting street circuit in Baku. We’re continuing to make a good start to the season through the hard work of the entire team both at the factory and the track alongside our colleagues at Mercedes HPP. However, we need to remain focused and look to keep consolidating our performances one race weekend at a time. It’s crucial we stay on top of reliability, make the right calls and extract the most from our package to stay in the closely-contested fight with our competitors.
“It’s great to be returning to Baku after missing it last season due to the pandemic. In comparison to Monaco, Baku has very different characteristics that make it a different challenge this weekend. The contrast in the layout sees an unusually long straight for a street circuit, with numerous slow corners that will present opportunities and challenges for the teams. Finding the optimal balance to get the best from the car will be key. The general nature of street circuits also leaves no margin for error. We’re ready to go racing and fight for some good points this weekend,” concluded Seidl.