McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl has admitted it’s been disappointing to see Daniel Ricciardo’s transition from Renault to McLaren take so long, but is confident things will “click” eventually.
Ricciardo switched from Renault to McLaren for the 2021 Formula 1 season to partner Lando Norris, but whilst the Briton’s season has gone from strength to strength, the Australian continues to struggle behind the wheel of the MCL35M.
Although McLaren never expected Ricciardo to jump into a car he’s never driven and immediately be up to speed, Seidl admitted that he expected it would have happened by now, nine races into the season.
“I don’t think he [Ricciardo] imagined it would be so difficult to change teams,” Seidl said in an interview with RTL.
“He’s disappointed and so are we. Because we thought it [the transition] would be faster.”
Seidl isn’t giving up on Ricciardo just yet and remains confident it will, at some point, come together: “I am still convinced that at some point it will click with him.”
Ricciardo has however scored in all but two races, outscoring Norris in one and out-qualifying him in three events, but Norris looks to have stepped up a gear in recent races. The 21-year-old qualified third in the Styrian GP before going one better and taking second last time out and is the only driver to have scored in every race this season so far.
Seidl has nothing but compliments for Norris, who is only in his third season.
“It’s great to see how he approaches the races. Even if the first lap doesn’t work out, he doesn’t let himself be disturbed. He waited for his chances and then takes advantage. He has an impressive determination and makes almost no mistakes.
“It’s [also] great to see how he has developed outside of the car. His personality. He’s only 21 and extremely down to earth and a team player.”
Norris currently occupies fourth in the standings, ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, with 101 points and three podium finishes. Ricciardo meanwhile is eighth, with fewer than half Norris’ points tally.