McLaren 'very happy' with Ricciardo progress at Silverstone
Has Daniel Ricciardo's form turned a corner? The Australian took his best finish of the season with P5 in the British Grand Prix and his McLaren team said they were 'very happy' with his progress at Silverstone.
Ricciardo has openly struggled to adapt to McLaren's MCL35M since switching to the Woking team from Renault, but his latest weekend behind the wheel was much more positive.
The seven-time Grand Prix winner was just 0.02s off team mate Lando Norris in qualifying and finished right behind him in both the Sprint and (14s back) in the Grand Prix to record his first top five for his current team. For team boss Andreas Seidl, Ricciardo’s resurgence was one of many positives to take from the weekend.
“Very strong drive all weekend from Lando and I’m very happy with the progress Daniel made, a really good step forward in qualifying on Friday and then managed to pull off some good races which is great to see. Looking forward now to Hungary,” said Seidl.
“As Daniel said also after the race, there’s still things obviously to improve to match Lando, but the important thing is he’s making steps, feeling more comfortable in the car in both quali and the race and it was a big step forward compared to previous races which was good.”
Seidl was, however, wary of the Ferraris’ pace and, while Charles Leclerc scored a podium, denied that Norris had a realistic chance to keep Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas behind him for P3 at Silverstone.
“In terms of the outcome of the race, I think, obviously, we didn’t finish the battle with Valtteri with Lando. If there was a chance we could fight for P3, difficult to say as if we’d done another pit stop Valtteri would have gone long, long, long with his stint and then created a tyre delta at the end of the race – so [it’s] difficult to say if that would have been a chance to keep him behind. To be realistic, he would have just gone by like he did with everyone else.
“But overall, for us, a very strong weekend with P4 and P5. Scoring strong points in our fight in the constructors’ championship and then we have to accept the cars ahead of us at the end of the race, Charles especially in the Ferrari was very quick all weekend,” he concluded.
Although Leclerc made the podium in Great Britain, McLaren still retained their lead over the Scuderia in the constructors' championship, with a 15-point buffer over Ferrari heading to Hungary.