Soon to be former McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo is banking on some good learnings the team got from the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa to have a better weekend in Zandvoort.
It’s highly doubtful that Ricciardo can take any good memories away from his 2022 weekend in Spa, as just ahead of it, he was announced to be leaving McLaren at the end of this season, and a tough race that saw him finish 15th made matters even worse.
Ahead of the upcoming Dutch Grand Prix this weekend, Ricciardo is doing his best to try and remain positive as he embarks on his final eight races in Papaya.
“I’m looking forward to Zandvoort,” he said in McLaren’s race preview. “It’s an awesome circuit and has such a fun, almost festival-like atmosphere which is great for your mood going into the weekend.
“It’s more of an old-school circuit with interesting features like Tarzan and the ability to overtake there, so I’m excited to get on track and see how different it is from last year in the new cars,” he added.
“I’ve spent the last couple of days in Amsterdam resetting, eating stroopwafels, and looking at how we can improve for the coming weekend.
“Last weekend was not what we wanted it to be, but we’ve bounced back before so we can definitely do the same this time around,” a defiant Ricciardo pointed out.
“We’ve got some good learnings from Spa which we can use for this weekend so hopefully we come out a bit better and can properly battle with the Alpines,” he conlcuded.
Lando Norris keeping an eye on the fight with Alpine
Lando Norris didn’t really have a strong race in Spa as well, having received a power unit-related grid penalty, and got stuck in a DRS train during the race, hampering his advance.
Nevertheless, he finished the race in 12th, and looking ahead to Zandvoort he said: “I really enjoy driving the circuit and I’ve had some decent results there coming through the junior catagories.
“The undulation and turns make it feel like a rollercoaster ride so I’m excited to get out there and give it all we’ve got. It also always has an incredible atmosphere and I like to think that most of the orange is there to support McLaren,” the Briton joked.
“Last weekend made it clear that we’ve still got a lot of work to do to keep in the fight with the Alpines,” Norris added. “I have full faith in the team and know we will do everything we can to push through and be as prepared as we can to keep battling.
“The next two races are key so let’s keep focused and keep up the hard work,” the McLaren racer concluded.
Andreas Seidl: Result in Spa was not what we hoped
McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl added: “Zandvoort is an incredibly quick circuit and has had some memorable moments over the years.
“With F1 trialing DRS through the final banked corner for FP1, it should be interesting to see how the new iteration of cars perform and what impact it has on our ability to overtake, especially as the cars can run side by side there. The undulation and swooping sections are also a good feature of the circuit and provide a nice challenge for the drivers,” he explained.
“We’ve spent the last few days analyzing the past weekend and ensuring we learn as much as possible from it,” the German revealed. “The result in Spa was not what we hoped but we can take these learnings and use them to maximize our package.
“We need to keep our full focus on making every small gain and pushing the car to get as much as we possibly can out of it. Let’s keep our heads down and get back to it,” Seidle concluded.
McLaren enter the Dutch Grand Prix weekend 20 points behind Alpine in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship, as their fight for fourth continues.