McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl suggests Daniel Ricciardo’s performance in the United States Grand Prix was better than his victory at Monza.
Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix from the front having taken the lead at the start, as McLaren took a one-two at a track where its car performed well. Due to the unique nature of that track, however, Seidl believes Ricciardo produced a better all-round display at Circuit of The Americas as he outqualified teammate Lando Norris and finished fifth.
“It was most definitely a very strong weekend from Daniel and I think it’s fair to say, together with Monza, it was probably his strongest weekend together with us,” Seidl said. “Maybe even fair to say that it was his best weekend so far, on a track that has a lot of different corner types.
“I’m very happy with what he could pull off — it was a great performance from his side to keep Carlos (Sainz) behind the entire race and being under massive pressure. So happy with that. It’s just another confirmation that since the summer break he continues to improve and be more comfortable in the car. It’s encouraging and at the same time he is saying there is still a lot more to come, which is good.
“I don’t think he’s fully comfortable in our car yet in any condition or track layout, or situation. With him now getting more and more used to it, spending more time in our car, doing laps, I think it’s just natural that there is still a lot more to come from this side, which is obviously encouraging. It was a great weekend from his side in Austin and very strong drive in the race, where he showed why we wanted to get him onboard.”
With Ricciardo splitting the two Ferraris but ending up some 25 seconds adrift of Charles Leclerc, Seidl says the USGP was actually a positive result for McLaren in terms of not losing too many points to its main rival.
“I think we need to be absolutely happy with the outcome because I think we maximized everything that was possible for us, or even more. To be ahead of one Ferrari, while both Ferraris were clearly quicker than us all weekend, that’s a good achievement.
“It’s something which we wouldn’t necessarily expect, accepting that Ferrari was simply a lot quicker than us (at COTA). It was a well-handled race by the team, by both drivers and we achieved what was on the cards for us.”