McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl was left rueing Daniel Ricciardo's opening lap collision with Valtteri Bottas, as the first corner incident practically ended McLaren's chances of finishing ahead of Ferrari in yesterday's Mexico City Grand Prix.
Ricciardo's race was ruined on Lap 1 when the Australian locked up his right front tire heading into Turn 1, causing him to collide with Bottas, destroying his and the Finn's race in the process, with both drivers being forced to limp back to the pits with damage that was sustained in the collision.
After the safety car pulled into the pits on Lap 5, Ricciardo and his teammate, Lando Norris, struggled to make their way through the order with Norris stuck in the dirty air for most of the race, losing him valuable time to the Alpine of Fernando Alonso.
Norris did manage to salvage some pride for McLaren with 10th place at the checkered flag whilst Ricciardo dragged his damaged MCL35M to a disappointing 12th place finish.
To add to McLaren's misery, Ferrari moved into third place in the constructors' championship after Charles Leclerc finished fifth ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz, securing a double top-six finish for the Maranello-based outfit.
When speaking to selected media outlets, including Motorlat, Seidl reflected on why McLaren struggled during the race.
“I would say it simply wasn't a very competitive Sunday afternoon on our side in terms of pace, (it was) different to yesterday when we could actually battle with the Ferrari's on one lap, which is also why it was a shame we lost Daniel in Turn 1 because we have seen again that he could have stayed in front of the Ferraris and there was a chance to stay ahead for the whole race, similar to what we could manage against Valtteri, so that's why it was a shame to lose him as there was a chance to a bit of damage limitation."
“On Lando's side, it was clear it was going to be a difficult Sunday afternoon; first of all, I think in the first stint, he overtook several cars, which I guess compromised his stint because he was around all the dirty air, so it's not easy to overtake. In the second stint on the hard tires, we didn't have the pace to Fernando, Kimi or Seb, so that's why we couldn't progress further."
“On Daniel's side, he had a good start and was making up positions; then, going into Turn 1, he initially had a lock-up, but I think he managed to get the car under control again to make the apex and unfortunately, he came together with Bottas which is unfortunate as it was a racing incident. We had to change the front wing, and he had damage to one of the sidepods, which additionally cost him a bit of time. "
Despite going into Brazil with a 13 and a half point deficit to Ferrari, Seidl remained hopeful that McLaren could turn the tide and regain third place in the constructors' championship.
“The most important thing is to accept that days like today can happen in racing, their part of the sport and at the same time, they can happen to their competitor, so there is no reason to give up this fight, it's important to move on."
“Luckily, we have a race next weekend, and then we try to strike back. It's disappointing to only score one point, which is a big hit for the constructors 'championship, but again it can happen to the others, so we just have to stay focused on ourselves and make sure we keep scoring points consistently, which we didn't manage today. "