All teams are battling to save weight with their 2022 cars, and the Australian revealed he had less fluid in his drink bottle than he would have liked in the circumstances.
He struggled for speed for most of the afternoon, and even a late switch of soft tires during his teammate Lando Norris’s safety car run didn’t help much.
He crossed the streak in 11th, but was demoted to 13th on a penalty after he went off the track and gained an advantage while fighting Kevin Magnussen.
Like the other drivers after the race, Ricciardo clearly demonstrated the effects of a hectic afternoon in the Florida humidity.
“Yes, it’s got that heat factor,” Ricciardo said when asked by Motorsport.com if Miami compared to races like Singapore and Malaysia. “It’s also tough, because I mean, obviously everyone is fighting for that last bit of weight.
“So we don’t have the luxury of putting three liters in the drink system. So we have a little fluid, and never enough. So, naturally, you’ll get dehydrated. And yes, that heat was very real.”
“They’re the tough ones, of course. I mean, obviously everyone worked really hard today, it’s hot, the drivers and mechanics, everyone is feeling the heat.”
At the end of the race, Ricciardo thought he had just put up the points, later finding out he was 11th on the road, before taking the penalty.
“Actually when I crossed the line, I honestly thought I was ten,” he said. “It’s hard to tell, of course [there are] Battles and cars go off here and there. But I was doing the math in my head, thinking enough cars had kind of blown up, or passed, to be somewhere inside the points.
“But yeah, we’ve come up with shortcomings. So I don’t think there was any ‘what could be’ today? We weren’t fast enough. We were just hanging around. And I think when everyone’s in a bandwagon, we’re still lacking a little.” on the straits. I think there’s obviously a bit of a drag and stuff.”
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36
Photo: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
Ricciardo had hoped the late switch to soft tyres would give him a boost, but while he passed a few cars, it didn’t make much of a difference in the end.
“I was definitely more excited about the safety car,” he said. “There were some cars in front on the old hard tyres. And for me, I couldn’t really do the hard thing. It didn’t feel like a great tire to me.
“So I was thinking we’d get something to show. I’d hang out with them, but not really enough to make an impression. In the end, maybe it just wasn’t fast enough.”
After learning, Ricardo admitted that he did not know why he was punished.
“I just saw in the rankings that I was 13th instead of 11th, and there were still no points. I remember being side by side a few times with Haases, and it really felt like we were having some good fights.
“Unfortunately, not for the top five or anything. I’m not sure why I came up to 13th. But I’ll look into it. But the big picture of course is that it doesn’t change my race.”
Ricciardo hopes the next track in Barcelona is more suitable for McLaren.
“It’s still hard to say. But I really hope it will be better than this weekend, we were definitely more qualified.
“And it just felt like kind of a struggle last year. Some of these races, like Zandvoort, this circuit has some similarities, sort of long corners, and you’re fighting for one point last year.
“And that kind of feels like a similar race, where we were kind of there, but not really enough to make a big impression. So it could be better. [Barcelona] It was a better circuit for me last year, so hopefully that means something.”