What’s going on with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo?

Red Bull's Helmut Marko has come out in support of his previous protege Daniel Ricciardo

-

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has so far had a tough start to his 2022 Formula 1 season. The affable Australian was forced to miss part of the pre-season tests after contracting the coronavirus and has so far struggled to match his teammate Lando Norris.

While Ricciardo had somewhat of a renaissance in at the 2022 Saudi Arabian GP, qualifying one place lower than Norris before ultimately suffering a mechanical failure, when combined with his performance from the previous season, it is obvious to see that Norris has the upper hand despite Ricciardo‘s win at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

Marshals push the car of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo after he retired from the Saudi Arabian GP ERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool

Marko rallies to Ricciardo’s support

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, however, has rallied to Ricciardo’s support, insisting that the Australian’s raw speed should not be underestimated.

Marko, the head of the Red Bull junior program, was instrumental in bringing Ricciardo into the sport and has compared the McLaren driver’s abilities to current world champion Max Verstappen and former quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel.

“Daniel [Ricciardo] still seems to be having a hard time at McLaren.Β But writing him off would be a mistake,” Marko told F1-Insider.

“We know what he can do. Not just because he looked strong against Vettel in 2014 – but because nobody else here drove on par with Max Verstappen. And it wasn’t that long ago.

“I wish him success. It’s enough if he finishes third behind our two drivers.”

What next?

It was not too long ago that Ricciardo was hailed as a future world champion. While we may never know the truth, his decision to leave Red Bull was primarily motivated by the team’s desire to back 2021 world champion Verstappen.

While his two-year stint with Renault didn’t do him any favors, his decision to join McLaren has so far yielded a win. The issue for Ricciardo though is that much like Red Bull, current McLaren incumbent Norris is tipped as a future star in his own right. The British driver is wildly popular and is a decade younger than Ricciardo.

If Ricciardo is to live up to his potential then he must start beating Norris on a more consistent basis. Triumphing over his teammate would put him back on the path of securing a world championship, especially if the acquisition rumors hovering around McLaren are true.

The good thing for Ricciardo is that he holds the key to his future. Whether or not he can beat Norris on track is another matter altogether.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lewis Hamilton looks on in a press conference at the 2024 pre-season test in Bahrain | Mercedes / Jiri Krenek

Lewis Hamilton upbeat after Mercedes disaster in Chinese GP qualifying: Sh*t happens

0
Lewis Hamilton admits his changes made to his car prior to qualifying for the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand...

Christian Horner: Perez driving for Red Bull future

0
Christian Horner praised Sergio Perez's recovery after a chastening 2023 Formula 1 season, as the Mexican completed a Red...
Max Verstappen celebrates pole position after qualifying for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Starting Grid for F1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix

0
Max Verstappen secured a dominant pole position for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, marking Red Bull’s 100th pole in...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen roars to Chinese GP pole as Hamilton sinks to new low

0
Max Verstappen will start on pole for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton's wretched start of...
George Russell of Mercedes leads Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the Sprint ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Chinese Grand Prix 2024 – Qualifying Results

0
Max Verstappen clinched pole position for the 2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, continuing his dominance with a fifth...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 Qualifying – Highlights

0
As the Formula 1 season progresses, the intensity mounts at the Shanghai International Circuit with the qualifying session for...
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez after the F1 2024 Chinese GP Sprint Race | Mercedes / Wolfgang Wilhelm

Lewis Hamilton offers bleak excuse for lack of Verstappen defence after Rosberg criticism

0
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he did not try to fight Max Verstappen after the Mercedes star was denied a...
Lewis Hamilton looks on ahead of hitting the track in Friday practice at the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Sam Bloxham / Mercedes F1 team

Unsympathetic Lewis Hamilton blames Lando Norris for Lap 1 Sprint Race incident

0
Lewis Hamilton offered little sympathy to Lando Norris after the McLaren driver lost the lead of the 2024 Chinese...
Sprint winner Max Verstappen celebrates ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen explains source of Red Bull car issues during Chinese GP Sprint Race

0
A poor Sprint Qualifying effort by Max Verstappen gave everyone hope that Formula 1 might see a different winner...
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc during 2024 Chinese GP weekend | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc demands Sainz talks after Ferrari drivers Chinese GP Sprint clash

0
Charles Leclerc accused his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz of going "over the limit" and said the pair would sit...
- Advertisment -