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F1 | Hungarian GP | Seidl: 'We need to understand why on Daniel’s side, with exactly the same strategy, we were falling off so much."

McLaren F1 Team Principal Andreas Seidl was pleased to see Lando Norris claim P7 in Hungary but was eager to analyse why Daniel Ricciardo (running the same strategy) could only finish in P15. 

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F1 | Hungarian GP | Seidl: 'We need to understand why on Daniel’s side, with exactly the same strategy, we were falling off so much."
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - Motorlat

McLaren F1 Team Principal Andreas Seidl explained to select media, which included Motorlat, that “With all six cars from the top three teams finishing the race, P7 was the best we could achieve today.” The P7 in question was claimed by Lando Norris who took the title ‘best of the rest’. However, with Daniel Ricciardo running the same strategy and only finishing P15, this was the last thing the much-loved Aussie needed as speculation continues to surround his F1 future at McLaren.

At a time when it seemed like BWT Alpine F1 Team was starting to get an edge on McLaren, Andreas Seidl told the media how pleased he was to see their recent upgrade, unveiled last time out at the French Grand Prix, increase their level of competitiveness in Hungary. As things currently stand, McLaren is now the fourth fastest team which puts them in a good position chasing down the 4-point lead BWT Alpine F1 Team has over them in the battle for 4th place of the 2022 F1 Constructors’ Championship.

“I think in the end P7 was a good outcome for us, for this weekend because we have to accept at the moment that when the top three teams at the moment finish a race without major incidents then they a clearly a step ahead and therefore P7 for us was a good result for various reasons.

“I'm very happy that we could also show today in the race encouraging signs. We have seen already at Paul Ricard and then also here on Friday since we introduced our upgrade package in terms of performance. We’ve definitely made a good step forward which allowed us to score the P4 yesterday in quali and the P7 of Lando today who did a great job all weekend together with the team yesterday in quali and also today in the race. So, I’m happy with that and important points obviously for our battle in the constructors’ championship with Alpine.” Seidl explained in his post-race remarks.

However, the man leading McLaren also explained that there was some work to do ahead of the summer shutdown following Daniel Ricciardo’s P15 on race day having qualified P9 the day before. “But of course, we need to understand why on Daniel’s side, with exactly the same strategy, we were falling off so much with the hard tyres in the final stint which put Daniel in the end out of the points. That's what we need to analyse together with Daniel.” Seidl said.

The lack of pace in his stint on hard tyres at the end of the race proved decisive for Ricciardo’s chances. However, another key element of Daniel Ricciardo’s Hungarian Grand Prix was the time he lost behind Kevin Magnussen in the first five laps of the race after DRS became available.

Despite the fact that Ricciardo was within a second of the Hass F1 driver, for several laps, and Magnussen was unable to benefit from DRS, the overtake could not be completed. Ricciardo eventually made his way in front of the Danish racer due to the fact the Haas had to make an unscheduled pitstop for a safety issue. Therefore, Motorlat put the question to Andreas Seidl as to whether the fact Daniel Ricciardo couldn’t get the pass done on track shows the cars are still a challenge to travel in the dirty air or was the straight-line speed of the Haas too strong?

“In general, this track here is obviously or has always been very difficult in terms of regarding overtaking and my initial impression would still be that the overtaking today was actually definitely better than in previous years. Let’s wait for the detailed analysis of all my guys as well but that would be my initial impression after the race…I have to wait for the analysis, the biggest issue was today the stint on the hard tyres in the end which completely took any chances away for him to stay in the battle with the Alpines.” Seidl said on the matter.

McLaren’s comments show that they are not jumping to any conclusions, and they are clearly giving their driver the benefit of the doubt. However, with all the drama this week of ‘Piastrigate’ (as it has unsurprisingly been labelled) Ricciardo needed a strong race in Hungary. For those looking on, it was strange to see ‘the last of the late-brakers’ aided by DRS unable to get by Magnussen. Nevertheless, the fact that McLaren is waiting for a full analysis is surely encouraging.

However, if it turns out that Daniel Ricciardo was unable to get beyond Kevin Magnussen as he did not have confidence in the car – then that will be a greater issue of concern for the team and also the much-loved Aussie. Particularly following the performance that Lando Norris was able to extract from the same car and as we were continuously told post-race by Andreas Seidl – the same strategy.

The facts are simple though, in the here and now McLaren is in an intense battle with Alpine. While we wait to see the impact Fernando Alonso’s announcement of signing for Aston Martin in 2023 has on his team, McLaren need to avoid off track incidents impacting on track performance. Nevertheless, there is every chance that Daniel Ricciardo could join an Alpine team in 2023 which he is desperate to beat with McLaren in 2022 – well, they don’t call it the silly season for nothing.


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