McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl admitted it was an emotional weekend saying goodbye to the Australian; he said: “Of course, the entire weekend, including the farewell celebration that we had back home at the factory, the farewell also we had when we did the team barbecue on Thursday night and including the three days here knowing that whatever we did, it was the last time we would do it together with Daniel, it was emotional.
“But of course, especially on Sunday when Daniel left the garage for the last time to go to the grid and also when I said to have a good race for the last time on the grid, it was emotional,” he added.
Ricciardo started the race from 13th on the grid but managed to finish ninth after a fight with Sebastian Vettel, also on his final race with Aston Martin, and in F1.
Ricciardo pulled off a great final race for McLaren
Seidl commented: “In the end, it was simply great to see that he pulled off a great race for us, getting back into the points from P13 was down to a great drive on his side together with the great work of this side of the garage and the pit crew.
“I think we have finished our project together on the best possible high, which was the aim after all of the announcements of the summer break,” the German maintained.
McLaren entered the weekend in Abu Dhabi 19 points behind Alpine in the Constructors’ Championship, and needed to outscore the French team by that amount to secure fourth.
“We made sure as a team over the weekend, together with Lando and with Daniel, that we kept the focus on trying to pull off the best possible result,” Seidl revealed.
“Because we simply wanted to keep the pressure up on the Alpines to see if there was still a chance to somehow score 19 points more than Alpine and beat them in the constructors’ championship. And I think that simply kept us focused on the core task here,” he explained.
“We finish the season P5 in the Constructors’ Championship. It is a fair reflection of our overall performance as a team this year. We definitely had some challenges to overcome,”Seidl admitted after McLaren failed in the bid to overhaul Alpine.