McLaren boss brands Ricciardo a positive influence
By Mat Coch
Friday 9th April, 2021 - 9:12am
Daniel Ricciardo brings a lot of positivity into the McLaren garage, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.
The Australian raced to seventh in his maiden outing with his new team, wrestling a damaged car throughout the Sunday action at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Contact on the opening lap with Pierre Gasly left Ricciardo’s MCL35M carrying a battle-scarred floor, preventing him from matching the pace of team-mate Lando Norris.
Despite the result, Seidl likes what he has seen of his new driver.
“He is a great character, great personality, which brings a lot of positivity also to this within the team, which is important,” the German said when asked by Speedcafe.com about Ricciardo’s value to the team.
“These heroes of our sport are people everyone looks up to also within the team.
“After a bad day if the guys in the garage see that there’s a guy coming in, the driver, our hero, who is positive, motivated and fires everyone to get going again, that’s obviously very important as well.”
Ricciardo famously elected not to sign with McLaren ahead of the 2019 campaign, reasoning the team did not at that stage have direction.
He’d had previous encounters with Seidl, who was head of Porsche’s motorsport programme before joining McLaren last year.
There, he’d tried to sign Ricciardo to drive the 919 Hybrid that Nico Hulkenberg piloted to victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015.
“I liked a lot with everything I have seen in terms of his speed in qualifying and the race in his entire career, and that was the reason why I wanted to get him onboard,” Seidl said of signing Ricciardo for McLaren.
“In addition, he has obviously a lot of experience already that he’s been in Formula 1.
“The most important thing is performance on-track,” he added.
“I’m very happy to have him onboard and I’m sure he will do a lot of great results for us in the future.”
Ricciardo’s next outing for McLaren will be at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola on April 16-18.