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Seidl denies morale at McLaren has been compromised

NEWS STORY
29/08/2022

McLaren team boss, Andreas Seidl has played down suggestions that the dropping of Daniel Ricciardo has affected team morale.

Finishing 12th (Norris) and 15th (Ricciardo) pretty much summed up a dismal weekend for the Woking outfit, a weekend that followed a difficult week.

On Wednesday, following weeks (months?) of speculation, the team announced that it would not be retaining Riccardo for 2023, which led to the inevitable backlash on social media.

"In today's world, we've seen with the various campaigns and all the activity around social media, that unfortunately some fans, fortunately not most, are quite abusive on social media," said Zak Brown on Saturday when asked about the backlash.

"I think all you can do is ignore it," he continued. "You don't have to like it, but those that choose to hate are really not the types of fans that you want in sport. Certainly people are entitled to their opinions and I don't mind the cheering and booing that you get in sports, but some people do take it way too far.

"All you can do is ignore that and be grounded in we're doing the right things for McLaren, our partners, our employees, our McLaren fans and just be grounded in doing the right things, and block out those people that are abusive on social media."

Nonetheless, there was no denying the subdued atmosphere within the team all weekend, with much of the paddock openly expressing sympathy for Ricciardo.

Andreas Seidl however, insists that the situation is not compromising the team.

"Going into this weekend, doing the announcement, of course, myself, everyone as a team felt sad," he admitted. "But at the same time, it was important to get the message out before the weekend so we could also focus in on these last nine races of the season.

"Daniel is very experienced, we are very experienced as a team. We are fully committed, Daniel's side, our side of the team, to give it all again together and try to finish our chapter on a high.

"So I've not seen, let's say, events from before going to the weekend that had any effect on the outcome of the race weekend," he insisted. "I think if I look at Daniel's performance this weekend, the performance of the team for example also in terms of pit stops today, everyone was fully focused, gave it all, we simply didn't have a car that was quick enough."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spa here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 01/09/2022 19:50

"@Clarkwasgod - surely “dominant for a while, but since then, overtaken by other teams” is a description that could be applied to any team that’s previously won multiple championships? That list would include: Ferrari, Williams and Renault (Alpine).

Presumably Ricciardo was sold the idea that a team with McLaren’s history and resources would be able to produce a car capable of winning races again. Sadly, Woking’s glory days are now but a distant memory.
"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 01/09/2022 12:07

"@kenji
I understand all that you say, but, at the time, I still wondered. I suppose the presence of Abitiboul could also have been a deciding factor. Hindsight, as you mentioned, is always 20/20. But the present car is pretty poor. Now we just wait on the CRB - that could be egg on the face time."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 31/08/2022 11:11

"@ ClarkwasGod....My take is that Renault were not on a fast track and when Zak found out that Ric was approachable he moved in. Zak Brown is an uber successful salesman, evidenced by the vast array of sponsors he has garnered. The offer was couched in big money, a Mercedes engine and a fast track to success given their plans for the future. Ricciardo would've been foolish not to make the move but of course the best laid plans can and do come apart sometimes. It's always easy to be wise in hindsight though. The fact is that McLaren didn't follow up with a car that was capable of delivering the goods and no matter how Ricciardo has applied himself he still cannot master this difficult car. That inevitably leads to demotivation of sorts and we are now witnessing the results. A very poor show all around. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 30/08/2022 19:26

"I wondered why he left Renault in the first place. Apart from the (Gulf) livery, their cars haven't really been that good for years - even Monza last season was a freak (maybe like Spa this year for Red Bull?). Their history is a bit like Williams - dominant for a while, but since then, overtaken by other teams. As for their Honda fiasco - the arrogance of McLaren was beyond belief at the time, professing to have "the best chassis". I suspect the same philosophy is still embedded there. Seidl is a top man, but he has a mountain to climb - not made easier by the "Zak" of ballast on his back."

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5. Posted by kenji, 30/08/2022 13:59

"IIRC Norris said, in relation to the bouncing that it was there at times but not bad enough to need to take drastic action. They could live with it...like lots of other teams. Wolff was the main protester and it now appears to be a 'blowback' situation. RB have improve their performance. For Wolff an unintended consequece.Then again maybe I got it wrong...again!"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Editor, 30/08/2022 11:05

"@ Carsten B

Wednesday or Thursday... but allowing for the Drive to Survive factor... possibly just before "lights out" on Sunday"

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7. Posted by Carsten B, 30/08/2022 10:56

"Maybe not the right place to ask: Does anyone know when the decision of the CRB is expected to be handed down - and published?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Spindoctor, 30/08/2022 10:53

"Disappointing situation all round really.
I assumed that swapping Norris & Ricciardo's positions was merely the physical manifestation of McLaren's internal dialogues. I guess that their dismal performance was also partially down to implementing the anti-bouncing TD as, if I recall correctly, McLaren were plagued with bouncing at times in the season."

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9. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 30/08/2022 10:08

"Agree with @kenji, bringing Lando in first went largely unnoticed getting him ahead of Daniel."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by kenji, 30/08/2022 0:54

"I distinctly recall that a few years back Zak Brown, when being interviewed stated that 'I look on Lando as family, I treat him more like a son'. Make of that what you will. It may well be the case and that's fine but just how does the other drivers in the garage cope with that declaration? Not altogether morale boosting. On what I see as the real centre of this dilemma is that the car is actually a dog and Brown is covering it off by driver comparison. They have not won one race with it yet and they don't look like doing so this year given what we've been witnessing over the last ten races. The final break with Ricciardo is the best thing all round. That car will not all of a sudden win the blue ribbon at the Westminster Kennel Club.. and DR can now go and look for something better. It's unfortunate that there doesn't appear anything on the immediate horizon but I certainly hope, fervently, that he finds a car that suits and then perhaps we'll see him perform at his best once more.I still have faith in him even if many feel otherwise but then again I may just be deluded!!!"

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11. Posted by didaho, 30/08/2022 0:43

"Other than Daniel's peeps, it's always a tense and nervous wait for the CRB to announce "and the Oscar goes to...""

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12. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 29/08/2022 19:20

"@meatball
Spot on with "creative editing".

Drive to Survive is morphing out of Netflix and into the paddock."

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13. Posted by meatball, 29/08/2022 14:28

"Zac and Lando seem awfully chummy over the weekend. Perhaps it was creative editing but never really saw Zac laughing it up with Ric. Ric is laughing to be the bank and Zac may find himself with out Oscar after the contracts are reviewed. "

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14. Posted by kenji, 29/08/2022 10:47

"Question for Andreas Seidl...why was Norris given the undercut considering that the lead car, usually, gets that option first?"

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