McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has said that he believed the performance of the MCL36 was all there in the first qualifying session in Monaco, but did not seem to have an answer for why it slipped away.
Ricciardo has endured a difficult weekend in the Principality, crashing in FP2 on Friday, before recovering to set 29 laps in FP3 on Saturday morning as he regained a feel for the car.
Having made it into Q2 though, his pace completely fell away from him, and he ended the second session seven tenths of a second behind team-mate Lando Norris, all the way down in 14th as the Briton went on to qualify fifth.
The Australian backed out of his final run having improved in the first sector, so he did not feel as though the pace in the car was sufficient to reach the top 10.
“Not really to be honest,” he told Sky Sports.
“You know when it’s kind of coming together and I felt like Q1… I guess going back a few steps, P3 was just trying to get back into obviously a bit of a rhythm and get back up to speed.
“We made some car changes as well for quali and I think we were in a decent place.
“Q1, I was making some good steps, a few mistakes as well so I think like putting it all together it was actually looking like we were there… let’s say competitive for where it was.
“And then in Q2 is just… you can see on your delta as well, like you’re just not making the gains that you should with track evolution and all this.
“Ultimately it just becomes very difficult to feel where the limit is and how much more to go.
“It’s… I don’t know what the word is, it’s frustrating. It’s just… yeah, confusing, confusing to not make these kinds of natural steps that one should.”
Ricciardo was out-qualified for the sixth time this season by Norris as his heart-breaking season of woes continues.