“I knew straight away it was a different beast,” the Aussie said in an interview with The Race.
“I’d be lying if I said the Renault wasn’t a different beast to the Red Bull, so they are all different. But there’s certainly some things where this car is slightly more peculiar. That’s the puzzle that I’m still trying to solve.
“But every car will respond and react differently, and this one’s got a couple of other things, I guess,” he added.
Meanwhile, Andrea Stella, McLaren’s executive director of racing, admitted that their car requires “special adaptation.”
And now, British F1 journalist Mark Hughes has provided insight into where in particular Ricciardo is losing lap time to Norris.
The veteran motorsport journalist identified tracks with lots of slow-speed corners as being a weakness of Ricciardo’s in the McLaren, and noted that there hasn’t been a clear pattern of improvement for the Aussie as the season has progressed.
“It’s no coincidence that Ricciardo’s biggest qualifying deficits to Norris have been at Monaco and the Red Bull Ring (at 0.8 percent off), circuits dominated by slow turns requiring lots of rotation early in the corner and where there are things to hit if you get it wrong,” Hughes said.
“Imola and Baku are the next worst (at 0.5 percent off), also tracks placing importance on rotation and with very solid punishments lying in wait.
“Get the rotation wrong and you are steering the car for too long through the corner, bleeding lap time as you do so. You are making the corner go on for too long.”
Continuing, the British F1 journalist noted: “There is no progression in his performances through the year, no pattern of improvement.
“What have sometimes appeared to be the green shoots of recovery turn out just to be just more flowing tracks not requiring as much rotation into the turn, tracks like Barcelona (where he was a few hundredths quicker than Norris) or Silverstone.”
Ricciardo is currently ninth in the Drivers’ Standings on 50 points, while Norris is sat in P3 on 113 points.