McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says he still has belief in Daniel Ricciardo’s abilities, despite the team’s decision to cut his contract short at the end of this year.Monza last year. But his future is uncertain after the team cut short his three-year deal leaving him without a drive for 2023 and few vacancies available.
McLaren signed Lando Norris to a long-term contract earlier this year and hired rookie Oscar Piastri and Ricciardo’s replacement. But Seidl’s experience tells him Ricciardo could regain his form at a different team.
“I’m absolutely convinced that is possible because I’ve seen that in the past myself,” he said. “I experienced it with other drivers and we have seen that in the past with other drivers.”
Ricciardo’s Monza win was the sole highlight of his time at McLaren. With six races left this year he has less than a quarter of team mate Norris’s points total. Seidl said the team had to acknowledge it hadn’t been able to get the best out of the driver they hired at the beginning of last year.
“In the end, we have to accept on both sides that despite all the effort we have put in, the commitment, despite all we have tried on our side, despite everything he has tried on his side, we didn’t manage to do it together. And in the end, that is a shared responsibility between Daniel and us. As I said, I fully take my responsibility in this as well.
“But that doesn’t change the respect I have and we all have for Daniel as a person, but also as a as a racing driver. And you have to accept sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Unfortunately, that happened between us and Daniel. I hope that at his next adventure that he’s starting, that he makes it click again and it works.”
With few options available to him, Ricciardo has indicated he may not race in F1 next year. If he does return, Seidl believes he could find a car which suits him at a different team.
“Formula 1 is complex,” he said. “There’s so many things involved in order to perform on-track, on the driver’s side, on the team’s side, on the car side.
“If you are not fully one with the car – and Daniel has stated several times that he never felt fully comfortable with our car, that it’s never felt fully natural for him to extract the maximum performance, especially in qualifying – that unfortunately ended up in the situation we ended up.
“We didn’t manage to achieve the results together overall that we wanted to achieve. Although we couldn’t repeat race weekends like in Monza – clearly saying as well that we also never had the car to do a repeat of Monza to actually go for a win [this year] – but let’s say [also] in terms of the consistency of the results compared to Lando as well.”
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