Ricciardo’s racing engineer opens up about his lack of Norris favoritism mindset during grim F1 form

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One of the biggest driver transfers this season was Daniel Ricciardo who joined McLaren following Carlos Sainz’s transfer to Ferrari. People were really happy to see Daniel Ricciardo teaming up with Lando Norris. The two are probably the most charismatic and funniest characters in the paddock. Apart from that, as a team McLaren was also making huge strides forward.

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They went from a team that struggled to finish in points in 2017 to the team that fought for the podiums at the end of 2019.

However, the journey was not easy for Ricciardo when he joined the Woking-based team. At first he struggled to level up. His racing engineer Tom Stallard sat down with F1 writer Greg Stuart and appreciated how Ricciardo has progressed to keep his pace in his new team.

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Ricciardo and McLaren failed to get confused at the start

Daniel Ricciardo joined McLaren after having had an excellent second half of the 2020 season with Renault – where he won two podiums and finished all races in points. However, Ricciardo failed to instantly blend in with his new squad and was nowhere near the pace, compared to teammate Lando Norris.

Formula 1 F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 26, 2021 Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren at FIA press conference FIA ​​/ Handout via REUTERS

The biggest demonstration of this disparity was when Ricciardo pulled aside to allow Lando to overtake him without any problem on the 53rd lap of the Monaco Grand Prix. Lando got on the podium and Ricciardo finished out of points.

No apology from Daniel Ricciardo

However, Daniel’s racing engineer Tom revealed that throughout the upgrade process, Ricciardo remained very patient. He never suggested that the team favored Lando or that the car had a bad setup.

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MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 12: Race winner Daniel Ricciardo from Australia and CEO of McLaren F1 and McLaren Zak Brown celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 12, 2021, in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1 / Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Tom too revealed that the whole team have immense respect for Ricciardo because of the way he put his head down, made no apologies and kept on working.

And at no point during the phase where he was getting up to speed on our package did he question that there was some sort of, the team backing the other driver, or the engineers didn’t know what was going on. ‘they were doing, or the car was wrongly configured. He just got on his knees, kept on working, and I think the whole team has a lot of respect for him for that.

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And this attitude did not go unrewarded, as Daniel became the person who brought McLaren back to the top of the podium for the first time since 2012. He ended a superb weekend of the Italian Grand Prix with a moving victory at Monza, a reward for his immense work ethic and never say never attitude.


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