Norris and Ricciardo deserve a quicker car from McLaren - Seidl

Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Norris and Ricciardo deserve a quicker car from McLaren - Seidl

Formula 1

Norris and Ricciardo deserve a quicker car from McLaren - Seidl

By

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo deserve a better car than McLaren has given them at the start of the 2022 season, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.

McLaren looked competitive at the first test in Barcelona but then struggled with overheating issues in Bahrain and did not complete any long running before the opening race. An uncompetitive weekend saw Ricciardo drop out in Q1 before Norris was eliminated in Q2, and the pair finished 14th and 15th respectively after falling to make progress starting on the medium tires.

“We had to manage several parameters throughout the race which cost us additional performance and therefore we were never really in a position to move forward,” Seidl said. “In hindsight the tire choice for the race start definitely cost us more than expected, it was very difficult for us to get the tires in the right temperature window.

“And then when the tires actually had an advantage compared to the guys running on softs and when they started to deg, there was the underlying issue that we didn’t have enough performance and not enough grip in the car, it didn’t allow us — despite getting close to cars — to overtake.

“On the positive side we managed with two cars to finally do a race distance with this car, where we could try different tire compounds and hopefully this gives us more (information) which we can benefit from already next weekend in Jeddah, on a different track layout as well.

“But independent of that, it is clear we have a lack of performance and that’s where we work really hard to understand why that is and to define how we get back on track as quickly as possible, as Lando and Daniel deserve a quicker car from us in order to go racing.

“Big thanks to them to push through and stay positive as well throughout the weekend. We have everything in place in the team in terms of people, experience, to be able to come back as quickly as possible and that’s what we have to focus on.”

Although Seidl hopes the issues that McLaren faced were highlighted even more by the Bahrain circuit layout and the team can be more competitive in Jeddah this weekend, he says having specifically weak or strong tracks still isn’t acceptable given the team’s targets.

“It’s a long season –we have to see now how the car is working on different track layouts. Jeddah is obviously different to (Bahrain), definitely looks like this track has exposed us to the weaknesses our package is having quite a lot, but it is obviously our ambition to have a competitive car on all kinds of track layouts and that’s what we have to focus on and work on.”

The setback comes after a number of years of impressive progress for McLaren, and Seidl views the current situation as an opportunity to display the strength and quality the team has in order to turn it around.

“It’s obviously a very challenging situation for the entire team, starting this new era with this completely new car completely on the back foot, but I think it is also a moment where we have to show how far we came as a team that we actually can deal with this situation.”

Presented by

MX-5 Cup | Round 12 – VIR

More RACER