F1: Ricciardo laments Monaco "one to forget" after miserable weekend
Updated: May 27, 2021
McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo was hoping to build on his "mini-breakthrough" that he had found over the course of the Spanish Grand Prix but instead he finished outside the points and lapped by his team-mate.
Once a victor on the streets of the Principality, Ricciardo's Monaco weekend summed-up his time at McLaren so far with the Australian unable to match the performance of team-mate Lando Norris.
Taking victory in 2018, the streets of Monte Carlo had been Ricciardo's most successful circuit taking a points haul of 85 since his first race in 2012 but for the first time this season, the Australian leaves a race circuit pointless.
Ricciardo had failed to crack into the top ten throughout the three Practice sessions with a highest of 13th and that only slightly improved in Qualifying where he managed 12th.
He hoped to make up ground throughout the race having started on the Medium tyre but had dropped behind Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen as the race started.
If Ricciardo had any chance of scoring points, he had to get past Raikkonen, which his engineer urged during the early phase of the race, but with almost zero opportunites of overtaking, Ricciardo could not find a way past.
STRUGGLES: Twelfth place represented Ricciardo's worst finish at Monaco discounting the two times he failed to finish
Even with the pit-stop phase out of the way, Ricciardo had decided to go onto a set of Hard tyres, he was still behind Raikkonen and unable to get past the Finn.
Meanwhile, team-mate Norris had been promoted to third with non-starting Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and the retirement of Valterri Bottas. Norris was fending-off a fast-charging Sergio Perez when the Brit came up to lap Ricciardo.
Ending the race in 12th while Norris claimed third and a second podium of the year, Ricciardo hinted at an “anomaly” in his MCL35M might be the root cause of the performance gap between him and his team-mate.
Ricciardo said: "The race was always going to be tricky after a difficult qualifying session yesterday and that’s how it turned out. I struggled a bit at the start on the Medium and that pretty much decided our race."
It's Ricciardo first race this season out of the points after equalling his best finish of sixth in Spain.
TIME AWAY: Ricciardo now finds himself down in eighth in the championship and fives places behind Norris in third
After the race, Ricciardo said: “It was quite a miserable weekend, just one to forget from my side."
"I’ll just have to figure out what happened and just step away for a few days to switch off a little bit before going again in Baku."
With Ricciardo out of the points, McLaren's streak of getting to the finish with both cars in the top ten came to an end.
The Woking team are locked in a fierce battle with old rival Ferrari to be top the mid-field. Carlos Sainz Jr secured the Scuderia's first podium of the season in second with Norris in third and after Monaco, there's only two points seperating the two titans of the sport.
Leaving Monaco, Ricciardo trails Norris by 32 points after only five races as Formula One heads to Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix which takes place on the 6th of June.
With 24 points to his name, Ricciardo will hope to find some form and to try and understand his MCL35M but as a previous winner in Baku, the Australian hopes to rely on his previous knowledge to find the upper-hand.