Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo: “We’ll definitely make some changes tonight to try to help us out”

2 Mins read
Credit: McLaren Marketing

Daniel Ricciardo felt it was a productive Friday for the McLaren F1 Team at the Circuit of the Americas, even if he missed out on running in opening practice due to the team giving Álex Palou a chance behind the wheel of the MCL36.

The Australian, who arrived in the paddock on Thursday on a horse, said it was an intense second session on Friday afternoon as he got up to speed, but around a track he enjoys, he felt it was productive, even though most of the session was taken up by running Pirelli’s mandatory tyre test.

Ricciardo says the times during the session mean little as a result of the tyre test, so he cannot look too much into his third-place finish, but he hopes McLaren can be in the fight for Q3 on Saturday.

“An interesting day,” said Ricciardo.  “I didn’t drive this morning but then had a long afternoon session, so it was kind of intense. It was obviously really cool just to be back out here.

“I love this place and this circuit is good fun. It’s pretty different with these cars this year. There are a lot more blind spots and the cars are still pretty stiff, so even though they’ve resurfaced it’s still a bit of a handful in some places.

“I think it was a productive day, we’ll definitely make some changes tonight to try to help us out. It’s tricky with the different programme everyone had in FP2 to work out how competitive we are, but we’ll keep at it regardless.

“It was fun to get some laps in, and I’ll sleep well tonight and prepare for tomorrow.”

“I think we’ve found a direction to go in with the set-up” – Lando Norris

Team-mate Lando Norris felt the team got a good idea on which direction to go with set-up during the first session at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday, but there was not too much they could do to improve that in the second due to the tyre test.

Norris, who almost crashed into the pit wall entering the pits during the second session as he attacked the pit entry too quickly, finished inside the top ten in both sessions, although his ninth place in the opening session may be a little bit more representative than his sixth in the second.

The British racer said the track is still a difficult one to drive due to its bumps, although some of the track has been resurfaced since the 2021 race, making it smoother in places.

“A reasonable day,” said Norris.  “This is a difficult circuit, some parts are still quite bumpy, which is a challenge in this car. Some parts of the track are smoother where they’ve resurfaced it.

“I think we’ve found a direction to go in with the set-up, so we’ll make some more changes overnight, as it seemed in the right direction from FP1 to FP2. FP2 we didn’t really get to try too many things because of the tyre test.

“Reasonable Friday and I look forward to tomorrow.”

Lando Norris ended inside the top ten in both Friday sessions – Credit: Zak Mauger/McLaren Marketing
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