Daniel Ricciardo reveals what’s hampering his progress as Lando Norris continues to outshine him at McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth in France last weekend.

McLaren racer Daniel Ricciardo was mildly frustrated after the French Grand Prix after finishing behind the Alpine of Esteban Ocon.

The Australian started ninth having narrowly missed out on a Q3 spot in qualifying, before being bumped up because of penalties for Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz.

Esteban Ocon started one place further back at his home race for Alpine and, despite picking up a penalty for hitting Yuki Tsunoda on the opening lap, recovered to pass Ricciardo for eighth on Sunday.

The 33-year-old endeavoured to keep up with the Frenchman but, try as he might, he simply did not have the grip or the pace in the car to do so.

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“Ocon started behind me, and finished in front of me,” Ricciardo told RacingNews365.com.

“I did whatever I could to hold him off, but I think he was simply just a bit too quick and I wasn’t quick enough.

READ: Daniel Ricciardo makes surprising claim as Lando Norris continues to outperform him

“The first part of the stint, I was able just to kind of hang on, but then the second part, when they’re able to stretch their legs, I’m just missing that extra grip and that extra little bit of speed.”

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Ricciardo indicated that he still needs to find some consistency lap on lap if he is to start climbing positions.

“If I put in a good lap time, then the next lap I lose quite a lot, so still some work to do,” he added.

“I don’t feel like I’m progressing with the tyre, I feel like I’m always trying to manage [and] still don’t seem to get the grip that [Alpine] have.”

Ricciardo’s team-mate Lando Norris finished seventh after he had the same problem behind the other Alpine of Fernando Alonso.

The two points for the eight-time race winner were the fourth points haul he has managed in race trim this season having previously scored in Australia Baku and Austria.

It was the first time this year that he has managed points in two consecutive races, so there are positives to take from the race, but he was out-qualified on Saturday for the 10th time this season by Norris, who also bettered him for the eighth time.

The result on Sunday moves Alpine above McLaren and into fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Max Verstappen went on to win the race for Red Bull after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashed out of the race, giving the Dutchman a 63-point lead in the Constructors’ Standings.

Red Bull now hold an 82-point advantage over the Scuderia in the Constructors’ Standings too following Sergio Perez’s P4 and Carlos Sainz fifth-placed finish having started P19 due to engine penalties.