McLaren: “…Ricciardo was well ahead of Norris”

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella says the Woking-based Formula One racing team has learned a lot from Daniel Ricciardo, despite the Australian struggling to find his form. In fact, the McLaren team admitted that Ricciardo was well ahead of Norris in some respects.

Ricciardo left the team at the end of this season after two difficult years that culminated in victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix but generally frustrated both parties as the Australian tried to get to grips with the car.


Stella insists, however, that Ricciardo, who returns to Red Bull Racing as a reserve driver, has had a positive impact on McLaren.

“One point I would highlight from a race team point of view is that he also brought us closer to some elements of the approach,” says Stella, who held the title of executive director of racing during Ricciardo’s time with the team.


“Daniel Ricciardo is special”

“We really appreciated that he stayed calm. He was cooperative, positive, constructive, even during the problems, even on difficult weekends. We’ve seen before, not necessarily at McLaren, but these situations can become very difficult.” said Stella,

“The environment can create a negative spiral. That never happened. So we are very grateful and we recognise that as an element of Daniel’s specialness that I want to acknowledge” said Stella, who also added that the team learned a lot on the technical side when they tried to solve Ricciardo’s problems with the car.



“It also means that we gained technical knowledge and driving knowledge from the difficulties,” he says.

“Because instead of having difficult conversations straight away, there were conversations where we could get to the bottom of what we could see in the data, what his feeling was.”

“I think that was an extremely positive process that everyone learned from, which is the ethos and, if you like, the emotional approach to the job and to human interactions.”



James Key: “Ricciardo has ahead of Norris”

Technical director James Key, who also worked with Ricciardo at Scuderia Toro Rosso, agrees that the Australian brings a wealth of experience that teammate Lando Norris does not.

“I worked with him ten years ago when he was probably at the same stage of his career as Lando is now,” Key says.

“He was always technically good. And I think he brought us that second reference point of someone who has a feel for a car and knows what’s going on.”


“He obviously brought experience from other teams that Lando doesn’t have because he grew up at McLaren. So we had that reference point from Daniel as well. And he gave us a race win.”

“And I really think that the determination that we saw from him and the experience that he gained from that helped him to go through with it and see it through to the end, and to have the belief in himself. So we can’t forget that his experience played a part in Monza as well, I think.”

“But other than that, it’s exactly what you would expect from a driver of that level and experience and previous race wins. It added to the already good information we got from Lando.”

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