Daniel Ricciardo was forced to “swallow his pride” after being ordered to let McLaren teammate Lando Norris pass him during the Emillia Romagna Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen won a crash-halted race at Imola on Sunday, with Lewis Hamilton finishing second and Norris third.
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Norris’ podium completed an excellent day’s work for a driver whose deleted best lap in qualifying would have seen him start third rather than seventh.
Australian teammate Ricciardo, who had earlier been order to let Norris overtake him on team instructions, ended up sixth.
“That’s where I’ve got to swallow my pride,” Ricciardo said after the race.
“The team were fair enough, they gave me time to try and show my pace.
“There were some laps where I had a bit and I could do a decent time but they gave me the time to show what I had and today it wasn’t enough so I’m not going to get into fisticuffs over it.”
The Aussie driver said he’s not too concerned with his early results at McLaren compared to his teammate.
Ricciardo finished seventh in his McLaren debut in Bahrain three weeks ago, while Norris was fourth.
“I don’t think I underestimated it, I was well aware of this (the learning curve at a new team) when I left Red Bull for Renault, but it’s just unfortunately going to take a bit of time,” Ricciardo said.
“But the season is long, it’s only race two, of course I want to be quicker already but if I look probably by race seven and I look back at race two, I’m probably giggling.”
Daniel Ricciardo still figuring out new McLaren
Ricciardo said he’s still finding his feet in the new car after spending the last two years at Renault.
“It’s weird, it’s some form of muscle memory and there’s still attachment to the other car and you’re trying to get out of, I don’t know if it’s bad habits but I don’t know,” he said.
“There’s so much in the seat of your pants and if there’s something you’re maybe not familiar with it’s like ‘ooh, is that the limit?’ but it’s not.
“I’ve just got to keep circulating laps and trying to understand. I think the positive is that Lando had a strong weekend, obviously on the podium, so I think better that than him in P12, and it shows we’re not quick at all. There’s positives.”
Verstappen’s win, by a commanding 22 seconds at the chequered flag of the season’s second race, was the 11th of the Dutch youngster’s career.
“It was very challenging out there, especially in the beginning to stay on track to be honest, it was very slippery,” Verstappen said of an afternoon that started with most drivers on intermediate tyres but some on full wets.
Hamilton, winner of the Bahrain season-opener, took a crucial bonus point for fastest lap on a rollercoaster afternoon for the seven-times world champion, whose race was almost wrecked by a rare mistake.
The Briton started on pole, his 99th, but dropped from second to ninth after skidding into the gravel and nudging the barriers at Tosa with his car at a standstill.
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