It will be “a few more race weekends” before Daniel Ricciardo will be challenging for podiums with his new teammate, McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has warned.
So far, while not obviously struggling in the car, Ricciardo has been outperformed by Lando Norris in both of the opening two races, with the young Brit finishing fourth and third to Ricciardo’s seventh and sixth.
Ricciardo even had to suffer the indignity of being told to allow his teammate, who is 10 years his junior, to overtake him in Sunday’s race at Imola.
But he’s not the only driver struggling in new surroundings, with every driver who switched teams ahead of the new season being outperformed by their teammate who didn’t.
Ricciardo has been honest about not having fully adapted to the car yet, having only had three days of pre-season testing split between himself and Norris before the Bahrain Grand Prix, and his new boss agrees.
“We know it is not just straightforward to jump from one car into another one, and only have one and half days of testing,” Seidl said.
“And we have seen from other drivers, all these drivers are very talented and have a lot of experience, and they adapt very quickly and straightaway.
“But these cars are complex, and to find these last two, three, four, tenths, but also make the difference when how comfortable they are to push these cars to the limit, that is not straightforward to find and get out of these cars.
“That takes time. It is not a surprise.
“It is part of the process of integrating a new driver, and with the experience Daniel has, in the experience we have within the team, it is just a matter of a few more race weekends before Daniel is fully comfortable in our car.”