McLaren’s Andreas Seidl has described Daniel Ricciardo’s victory at the Italian Grand Prix as “damn important”, for both the driver and team following a tough period.
It was McLaren’s first win since the 2012 Formula 1 season and Ricciardo’s first since Monaco 2018, but the Australian has endured a tough start to his first season since joining McLaren from Renault (now Alpine), often being overshadowed by team-mate Lando Norris.
Seidl believes the win was important for Ricciardo and is hopeful it will provide a breakthrough moment for the 32-year-old as the team not only battles for third this year, but also for the future as it aims to return to the top step more often.
“For him, the victory was damn important after the difficult acclimatisation [to McLaren],” Seidl told F1-Insider. “He has shown in the past that he is one of the best. That’s why we wanted him.
“I hope that he will return to his old strength. We need two strong drivers to make the leap to the top successfully.
“Red Bull and Mercedes can always race for victory, we can’t yet. Even if there will still be chances this season, we have a realistic picture. We know that the others are still ahead of us. The fight for third place against Ferrari will be tough.”
Seidl also revealed that the victory celebrations at Monza after the race were very much left to him after Ricciardo had an early night.
“It’s been a while since we celebrated a win,” he added. “That’s why it was important to me too. We live for these emotions. It was great to see what energy was released [by the team].
“The weekend in Monza was intense and Daniel went straight to bed so I took over the party with the guys at the bar. We then made up for the celebrations in Woking [at the team factory].”