Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he needs to “lift his game” after struggling in the first half of the 2021 season, following his switch to McLaren from Renault.
The Aussie has struggled at the Woking-based team, with his younger and much less experienced team-mate Lando Norris outshining him so far this campaign.
Reflecting on his season so far, Ricciardo said that this is the first time in his F1 career he has “consistently found it difficult.”
He also revealed that he has been reminding himself that Formula 1 “shouldn’t be easy”, as he is competing in the pinnacle of motorsport.
“I think it’s the first time I’ve consistently found it difficult,” Ricciardo said.
“For sure over the years you have bad weekends, and you might even have two bad ones on a trot, but then you kind of get it right… where I feel like it’s been definitely more bad, or more or less impressive than good.
“That’s obviously not always easy to take, but it is what it is.
“I think sometimes as well, you’ve got to realise and remember that I’m in the elite level of the sport… it shouldn’t be easy.
“So yeah, I’m struggling more than I have before but it’s probably for a reason as well. I am against the best guys, so I’ve just got to lift my game and figure it out,” the 32-year-old added.
Ricciardo is currently ninth in the Drivers’ Championship on 50 points, while Norris is in P3 on 113 points.
McLaren have been battling Ferrari for P3 in the Constructors’ Standings all season, and they are currently level on 163 points.
And with McLaren seemingly having the stronger package, they should be in a good position to clinch P3 if Ricciardo can extract more performance from his car and get closer to Norris.