McLaren won’t blame Ricciardo for missing out on P4 to Alpine

McLaren F1 team principal Andreas Seidl says he is “far away” from putting the team missing out on fourth place simply down to Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles. 
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren

Alpine edged McLaren to fourth place in the constructors’ championship by just 14 points after an intense fight that spanned the entirety of the 22-round 2022 campaign. 

The result came amid another season in which Ricciardo struggled to match the performances of teammate Lando Norris, ultimately leading to the Australian’s early departure from the Woking outfit. 

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Ricciardo only scored 37 points compared to Norris’ 122-point haul, but Seidl refused to pin the blame solely on his driver, stressing P5 was “a fair reflection of where we have been throughout the season” while acknowledging Alpine “did a better job”. 

"I'm far away from just blaming the situation with Daniel for not scoring P4 this year," Seidl said after Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi. 

"In the end I'm aware as well about my responsibility, the team's responsibility not to get it to work together with Daniel in the way we were hoping for, despite the great commitment that was taken on Daniel's side and on ours.

"That's part of not scoring the points as a team that you wanted or could have scored. It's part of the sport and that's something that we try to address or improve for next year.”

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren MCL36 at a team photograph. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren MCL36 at a team photograph. Formula 1 World…

Ricciardo was able to end his disappointing McLaren tenure on a rare high-note as he recovered from 13th on the grid to finish ninth in his last race with the team before re-joining Red Bull as a third driver. 

“The entire weekend, including the farewell celebration that we had in the factory, the farewell celebration at the team barbecue on Thursday night, the three days here knowing that whatever we did was the last time together with Daniel, it was emotional,” Seidl added.

"At the same time, we made sure throughout the weekend that we kept the focus on still trying to pull off the best possible result because we wanted to keep the pressure up on Alpine.

"The last time I wished Daniel a good race on the grid was emotional, but I think it was great to see that he was pulling off a good race for us. Getting back into the points from P13 was down to a great drive together with great work from his side of the garage and the pit wall.

"I think we finished our time together on the best possible high, which was the aim after all the announcements of the summer break."

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