McLaren boss says Ricciardo relationship ‘has never been better’

Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says he maintains a positive relationship with Daniel Ricciardo despite the critical remarks he made in recent weeks.

In the run up to the Monaco Grand Prix, Brown told Sky Sports that Ricciardo’s time with the team hadn’t lived up to expectations.

That saw pressure heaped on the Australian with a hungry press pack closing in on over the course of the weekend in the Principality.

Ricciardo reacted to the scrutiny well, accepting and agreeing with Brown’s remarks.

He’s since enjoyed something of an upturn in performance, with the Azerbaijan GP which followed one of his strongest evets of the year to date.

Last weekend, Ricciardo was on par with team-mate Lando Norris throughout practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

However, the balance of Norris’ weekend was compromised by a power unit issue in qualifying that left him out of position and down on grunt for the race.

“We have a great, great relationship,” Brown said when asked by Speedcafe.com about his relationship with Ricciardo.

“We had dinner a couple of week ago in London, we have good laughs together and enjoy racing together.

“So the relationship with Daniel’s never been better.”

The American also moved to explain the comments he’d made in the day prior to Monaco as simply an honest assessment.

“I was asked the question, and I just gave it an honest answer,” he said.

“I think Daniel has said the same thing.

“We’re here to try and get towards the front. We’ve had some awesome weekends like Monza and then some disappointing weekends.

“And I don’t think, again, coming back to our car, I don’t think we’re yet giving our drivers a car that’s capable of being at the front on a regular basis.

“So we need to do that.”

“We’ve got a great relationship and I just gave an honest answer to a question about things are going and things could be going better, but we’re going to work hard and make sure that they do in the future.”

McLaren struggled in Canada last weekend, with Ricciardo the highest placed of its drivers in 11th.

The F1 circus moves next to the team’s home race, the British Grand Prix, on July 1-3.

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