Ricciardo has endured a tricky start to life with McLaren as he trails teammate Lando Norris by 63 points in the drivers’ championship after 11 races.

The Australian’s best finish was fifth at the British Grand Prix whereas Norris has finished on the podium in three separate races.

The former Red Bull and Renault driver remains confident of finding small gains throughout the remaining half of the season.

“I am certainly open-minded in terms of the steps I am able to make,” Ricciardo said. “I think realistically it will probably be just like small bits here and there. As you say, I don’t think the development is going to be a game-changer. 

“Like with everyone focused on 2022 we will have bits and pieces but we’re not going to turn the car upside down. It’s more probably just up to me to see what more time in the car does for my progress with the ‘21 chassis. There is definitely a lot to still learn about this year’s car and the characteristics and to make sure, although the car’s different next year, we want to understand this year’s car so that it gives us even some understanding of where to put it for next year. 

“Some things I think will correlate for ‘22. Anything I can learn for this year will be beneficial regardless.”

While Ricciardo has struggled for form in 2021, he revealed that he’s putting in more work off track than ever before as he looks to get on level terms with teammate Norris.

“I don’t know, I will leave it up to you guys,” Ricciardo replied when he was asked to race his season out of 10. “It hasn’t been my finest six months. I think on-track, a five or something. 

“It’s certainly not outstanding. I would say to give it a positive spin, the off-track stuff and the work we as a team have put in and… I don’t know. I feel like, at least my own personal cast. We’ve put more work in than I have before and that’s not to say I have been lazy in the past. 

“It hasn’t always been my style to spend hours and hours in the data but I think I’ve definitely given it the right approach this year. It’s not through a lack of trying or lack of commitment but the on-track for sure is somewhere in the middle.”