McLaren team boss, Andreas Seidl has played down suggestions that the dropping of Daniel Ricciardo has affected team morale.
Finishing 12th (Norris) and 15th (Ricciardo) pretty much summed up a dismal weekend for the Woking outfit, a weekend that followed a difficult week.
On Wednesday, following weeks (months?) of speculation, the team announced that it would not be retaining Riccardo for 2023, which led to the inevitable backlash on social media.
“In today’s world, we’ve seen with the various campaigns and all the activity around social media, that unfortunately some fans, fortunately not most, are quite abusive on social media,” said Zak Brown on Saturday when asked about the backlash.
“I think all you can do is ignore it,” he continued. “You don’t have to like it, but those that choose to hate are really not the types of fans that you want in sport. Certainly people are entitled to their opinions and I don’t mind the cheering and booing that you get in sports, but some people do take it way too far.
“All you can do is ignore that and be grounded in we’re doing the right things for McLaren, our partners, our employees, our McLaren fans and just be grounded in doing the right things, and block out those people that are abusive on social media.”
Nonetheless, there was no denying the subdued atmosphere within the team all weekend, with much of the paddock openly expressing sympathy for Ricciardo.
Andreas Seidl however, insists that the situation is not compromising the team.
“Going into this weekend, doing the announcement, of course, myself, everyone as a team felt sad,” he admitted. “But at the same time, it was important to get the message out before the weekend so we could also focus in on these last nine races of the season.
“Daniel is very experienced, we are very experienced as a team. We are fully committed, Daniel’s side, our side of the team, to give it all again together and try to finish our chapter on a high.
“So I’ve not seen, let’s say, events from before going to the weekend that had any effect on the outcome of the race weekend,” he insisted. “I think if I look at Daniel’s performance this weekend, the performance of the team for example also in terms of pit stops today, everyone was fully focused, gave it all, we simply didn’t have a car that was quick enough.”
Check out our Sunday gallery from Spa here.