Ricciardo dropped out of Q2 and battled for performances all weekend at the Losail International Circuit.
A fuel system failure ruined his chances of a strong result, but Ricciardo admitted he still has to adapt to the “McLaren style”.
“Ultimately, those are the kind of long and medium-speed oscillations where our car is most challenged,” Ricciardo said. “This is where the McLaren style is the only style that can get through these corners quickly. I think this is where Lando is clearly doing a better job in those corners.
“I’m still not quite ready for it. It’s the way you go into the corner and combine the brake with the turn in. I’m trying to get the car to do something and it’s still turning, but it does not come through as fast. It’s only half a tenth, but half a tenth in these long corners sums to three or four tenths.
“So it’s really just that. It’s definitely a weakness of the car, but in the end still the weakness of knowing that I can not make the car work well in limited areas.”
Since Ricciardo’s victory at the Italian Grand Prix, he has only scored points on two occasions.
McLaren’s decline has caused it to drop to 39.5 points behind Ferrari in the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship.
The Australian says it has been a “downward spiral” since the US Grand Prix.
“But unfortunately, since Austin, it’s been a bit of a downward spiral. I would not be too negative about that,” he added. , and that counts, of course.
“Three and a half tenths and qualification is not what I want. The days are over where I have seven or eight tenths free. I have moved on from there, but there is clearly still some work to be done on some circuit specifics.”
Ricciardo feels he has made significant progress since the beginning of the year, but he still has work to do to get on par with his teammate
“I can see the difference in driving and why I run into some of these problems,” Ricciardo explained. “If it was easy, I would have already perfected it. I think Lando is running very well. All questions about him he has proved to everyone this year that he is at the top level. But also to have the three years with the same car has helped him turn it in.
“I definitely think I have improved my style from the beginning of the year. But there is definitely another step to take and some of those numbers where he is more on top of it than I am. ”