Ricciardo Insists He’s ‘Not Defeated’ By Norris Podium

Daniel Ricciardo was outpaced by his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris at Imola, but the Aussie believes he will be up to speed in a few races’ time.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at Imola - Formula1news.co.uk

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has said he is “certainly not defeated” by team-mate Lando Norris’ podium in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was ahead of Norris towards the start of the race, but the team ordered him to let the young Brit through so they could see his pace in clean air.

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The Aussie followed the team orders and Norris quickly pulled away from him and went on to finish the race in P3 to score his second-ever podium in Formula 1.

Reflecting on his performance at Imola, Ricciardo said he needs a few more races to get settled at his new team.

“In the end, sixth from a points point of view is alright – but certainly my race pace wasn’t anything to do cartwheels over,” Ricciardo said.

“[My race pace] was certainly not particularly fast. I’ve just got to keep working on it. It’s one of those ones where obviously I’m hard on myself and obviously I’m not skipping around… But I think by race six or race seven, I’ll look back at race two and think, ‘What was I worried about?’” he added.

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Continuing, he said he took encouragement from Norris’ podium at Imola as it demonstrated the underlying pace of McLaren’s 2021 car.

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“I think it’s just up to me to… it sounds kind of simple, but just to keep turning laps, and obviously the pace is there,” Ricciardo said.

“Lando had really strong pace all weekend and obviously put it on the podium today, so I take encouragement from that. I’m certainly not defeated by that, and I’m certainly going to accept where I’m at at the moment and just work on it.

“I’m not going to let pride or ego get in the way. It is race two of 23, the road is long and I’ll just keep my chin up and work on it.

“Hopefully I’ll be more competitive in races to come. It’s race two so I don’t want to be like, ‘I was expecting to be on the podium already.’ Maybe by the next race I’m on it.

“But let’s say at least today my pace wasn’t that spectacular, so I’ll just look at it, work on it. Obviously the reference to Lando is a strong one so I’ll just chip away and do better,” he added.

Ricciardo currently sits seventh in the 2021 Drivers’ Standings, level on 14 points with Carlos Sainz, who he replaced at McLaren following the Spaniard’s move to Ferrari. 

READ: Carlos Sainz Praises Lando Norris’ Strong Weekend At Imola