ADVERTISEMENT
Ricciardo: It's only ninth but still important

Ricciardo: It’s only ninth but still important

Ricciardo: It's only ninth but still important
Daniel Ricciardo steered an upgraded McLaren MCL36 to ninth at the 2022 French Grand Prix, not a stellar result, nevertheless an important one according to the Australian.

Daniel Ricciardo seems to be edging closer towards teammate Lando Norris lately, but remains nowhere near the form he used to show earlier in his career.

In France, the Honey Badger has an updated McLaren car at his disposal, in which he qualified 11th for the race that he ultimately finished ninth after running a bit higher early on, before falling behind Esteban Ocon’s Alpine.

“It’s points so that’s a positive. It’s only ninth but still important,” Ricciardo said in his team’s race debrief. “I had a bit of pace early in the stint and tried to get more out of it, but then it fell away a little too quickly so I definitely struggled from mid-stint onwards and didn’t have the pace to run with the Alpines and Lando.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I felt like I did the best that I could – but it’s not enough to make me happy,” he admitted. “Thanks again to everyone for the hard work in getting the upgrades to track this weekend and we’ll push to get more out of them over the next few races.

“Double-points but we’ll keep working,” the eight-time grand prix winner concluded.

McLaren weren’t as quick as expected

Lando Norris finished his race, two positions ahead of his teammate in seventh, unable to pass Fernando Alonso for sixth, as the Spaniard played it smart, keeping the McLaren close enough to ruin its tyres but not enough to pass.

“Tough day but I think it was what we expected,” Norris said after the race. “It was a long race and we struggled a little bit with the degradation of the tyre but also just with the pure pace.

“We weren’t as quick as we needed to be, so yeah, just tough but I won’t say disappointed,” Norris added. “It’s sort of what we were expecting, so not a surprise.

“The upgrades did bring performance and we will work over the next event to make sure they’re fully optimised. We’ll keep pushing, keep trying to improve, and we’ll go again next weekend.

“Thanks again to all the team here and at the factory for their efforts,” the Briton concluded.

The team maximised the result

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl admitted his team did not have enough firepower to fight with Alpine, and that seventh and ninth are the best they could achieve.

“P7 and P9 maximised what we had in our hands today,” Seidl said. “Alpine were a little quicker over a race distance but Lando and Daniel both drove very good races and we go away from Le Castellet with a lot of positives.

“The upgrade package we introduced here gave us a step forward in terms of performance,” he claimed. “Big thank you to the development and production teams back at the factory for providing us with enough parts to run the upgrade on both cars, and also to the trackside team and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP who worked very hard in tough conditions to ensure we could get both cars home and in the points.

“We have a lot of data to analyse within the next few days, to see how we can extract more performance from our updated MCL36, before we get back on track, five days from now at the Hungaroring. One more big effort before the summer break,” Seidl concluded.