Ricciardo not meeting McLaren's expectations, says Brown

24/05/2022
NEWS STORY

Following a difficult Spanish Grand Prix, McLaren boss, Zak Brown says that Daniel Ricciardo has not met the team's expectations, though he hopes the Australian can turn things around.

Admitting that he "wasn't there from the start," Daniel Ricciardo is as perplexed as the rest of us following a Spanish Grand Prix in which he finished 12th, whilst his teammate, suffering from tonsillitis, was able to battle his way to 8th.

"It wasn't like I had understeer, I mean I did, but it was just overall a lack of grip," said the Australian at race end. "I thought at the start of the race it was very, very slow, I thought maybe, I don't know, temperatures just got too high or something with the tyres.

"At the start, you're obviously fighting other cars and maybe things like that can happen," he added. "But we did a three-stop race, so I had four sets of tyres today, and was very, very slow on all of them, so not sure how. A really, really sad race."

Trailing his teammate, Lando Norris by 28 points, last weekend was the first time he has out-qualified the British youngster since Mexico, and even then it was down to the youngster having his Q2 time deleted for exceeding the track limits.

The Woking outfit is convinced that the upgrades it took to Spain met expectations, and as a result Andreas Seidl is equally mystified.

"Obviously disappointed with how the race on Daniel's car went," said the German. "It's something we need to understand because all the tyre sets we fitted today he simply struggled with grip compared to all the other cars around him.

"He just went backwards in the race, which we need to understand because it's always a shame that we couldn't fight with both cars for points."

However, as was the case last year, Norris appears to constantly have the edge on his rival, and while most of Ricciardo's issues in 2021 were said to be about the Australian learning to understand the car, his issues appear to have carried over in to this season also.

"Lando definitely has an edge," Brown told Sky Sports. "We would obviously like to see Daniel much closer to Lando and have a good inter-team battle.

"Daniel is just not comfortable yet with the car," he continued, we're trying everything we can. Again it was a disappointing weekend.

"Short of Monza and a few races, it's generally not kind of met his or our expectations, as far as what we were expecting," said the American. "I think all you can do is keep working hard as a team, keep communications going, keep pushing and hope that whatever is not kind of clicking at the moment clicks shortly."

Harsh words from the American, unlike Seidl who appears far more understanding of Ricciardo's plight.

Indeed, listening to Brown one might almost suspect some sort of agenda... but then it's not as if the Woking outfit might have an American driver waiting in the wings... a move that would surely bring a smile to the faces of the Liberty paymasters, what with there being three races in the U S of A next year.

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Published: 24/05/2022
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