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Seidl: Norris and Ricciardo deserve better from McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo

A difficult opening race of the 2022 Formula 1 season saw McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl concede his drivers deserve a better car.

Neither Daniel Ricciardo nor Lando Norris scored points in Bahrain last weekend despite both reaching the finish.

Ricciardo was the best placed of the team’s drivers, finishing almost a minute behind race leader Charles Leclerc in 14th.

Worryingly the team seems without an immediate answer as to where it is struggling, with Seidl suggesting it’s a case of continuing to add pieces to the puzzle with each new venue.

“It’s still obviously early in the season. It’s a long season. We will have to see now simply how the car is working, and this package, on different track layouts,” he said.

“Jeddah is obviously a different track to [Bahrain]. It looks like this track has exposed us to the weaknesses our package is having quite a lot.

“But in the end, it’s also clear our ambition must be to have a competitive car on all kind of track layouts, and that’s what we have to focus on.”

In Bahrain, both Ricciardo and Norris started on the medium compound tyres, the only two not to opt for the soft rubber.

While it was expected to leave the pair at a slight deficit in the opening laps, it was hoped that they could attack once their rivals experienced degradation.

“When the tyres actually had an advantage compared to the guys that were running on soft, and when they started to deg, the underlying issue [was] that we simply didn’t have enough performance and not enough grip in the car,” Seidl explained.

“It didn’t allow us, despite getting close to cars, to overtake.

“On the positive side, we managed now, with two cars, to finally do a race distance,” he added, referencing the braking issues which blighted its final pre-season test.

“Hopefully this gives us all some learnings which you can benefit from already for next week in Jeddah on a track that is a completely different track layout as well.

“But independent of that, it’s clear that we have a lack of performance in the package.

“We are [working] really hard now back home in order to understand why that is to define how we can get back on track as quickly as possible, because Lando and Daniel deserve a better car.”

Formula 1 returns with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend, Free Practice 1 for which begins at 01:00 AEDT on Saturday.

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