Why McLaren felt they should agree Ricciardo in F1
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McLaren’s decision to end its relationship with Daniel Ricciardo does not appear to have gone down very well with Formula 1 fans.
There are many who believe that Ricardowho had a contract until 2023, should have had more time to unleash the potential that everyone knows he has.
But Formula 1 is not a championship where being nice guarantees you absolutely nothing. Rather, it’s an all-consuming category where success and failure are measured in tenths of a second, and if something doesn’t work out, a decision has to be made. If you stand still at any point, you will quickly recoil.
In the case of McLaren, throughout 2022 it was evident that the gap between Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo last season had not really been minimized this year.
The Aussie has yet to be able to gain the confidence to extract maximum performance from the car, which has seen him almost always finish behind his current team-mate.
And McLaren If he was fighting alone, with some leeway compared to his rivals, maybe this difference between the two wouldn’t be so alarming.
But when you’re in a fight as close as midfield, sometimes three tenths can be the difference between getting to Q3 and falling in Q1. And if you get stuck at the bottom of the grid on Sunday, then it’s very difficult to progress and get to the top.
By repeating this situation too many times, the difference in points that McLaren saw between his two cars is beginning to be worrying. The clearest example of this is that currently, Norris has 76 points, while Ricardo he only adds 19, something the Woking board have not overlooked.
It’s one of the biggest differences between team-mates on the grid and, for a team as ambitious as McLaren, whose aim is to lead the top flight again, it’s obvious that internally there was a lot of concern about this.
While this year Ricciardo’s low points contribution saw them battle with Alpine for fourth place, the team’s concern was that the 50-point gap could mean two or three positions in the constructors’ championship in 2023. which obviously translates into less money for commercial rights. and also less interest from sponsors and lower bonuses for all staff.
The team leader, Andrew Seidlacknowledged that one of the big goals of an F1 team is to make sure it has two drivers who are on par to get the most out of their car, because that’s how its full potential is used.
“The objective is clear: for any team on the grid it is necessary to have two drivers who are always ready to make the most of the package they have,” he said.
“Of course the situation we find ourselves in now with Daniel was not good, he suffered too much with our car. But at the same time some of the problems are shared and that is why we share the responsibility that the union does not work.” .
“I don’t want to blame Daniel for the position we currently have in the constructors’ championship, for example.
Ultimately, the problem with Ricardo It’s not based on the fact that I don’t have the necessary skills and talent. Rather, something just didn’t click between him and McLaren’s concept car.
The Australian said earlier this year that the relationship between the driver and the car is like that of a dancing partner: they have to be one for it to work. If they are not granted, it does not work.
so many McLaren As a pilot, they put a lot of effort into trying to figure out why the union between the two parties was not working, but they had little sign of progress after 18 months, which is why the two may have had to accept that they would never get an answer.
Seidl He added: “In terms of performance, I’ve said it before, for a Formula 1 driver to get results, obviously he has to feel attached to the car, and then you remember all the Daniel’s comments about his problems.
“As I said before, we tried everything together to make him feel as comfortable in the car as Lando, especially when he has to push the car to its absolute limit.
“We put in a lot of effort, we made a lot of commitment from the team, to see what we could do in the car to help him.
“He put a lot of effort in also doing extra sessions with the engineers, simulation sessions, but we couldn’t unlock what was missing compared to Lando. And unfortunately we couldn’t solve this situation.”
But while the game ultimately didn’t work out between McLaren and Ricciardo (which surprised them, fans and pundits alike), the team has nothing but praise for the Aussie’s contribution to the structure and that it was far beyond that brilliant victory at Monza last year.
“As far as Daniel is concerned, we learned a lot from him,” he said. Seidl. “Looking back on those 18 months, it’s not like Daniel needed anything completely different from Lando in the car. In fact, they were both making similar comments about the weak points in the car.
“I also want to say that in our time together so far, we have greatly appreciated everything he has brought to the team through his experience. I think he has helped us as well. to take the next step as a team.”
“He always behaved very well, even on the days when he didn’t have the car he deserved. He was always positive and helped me to keep improving the team.”
“We haven’t forgotten, for example, the difficult start to the season that we had this year. And it was very important, it was very positive to see. Nothing has changed in terms of respect that I have personally for him too.”
“It’s just a fact, unfortunately, that we haven’t been able to make our union work. And, as I’ve said before, at the end of the day, it’s a team effort and a team effort. driving and I guess it’s a shared responsibility for, unfortunately, not having it.”, concluded the McLaren.
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