Brown: Ricciardo can win more F1 races for McLaren
By Mat Coch
Friday 8th July, 2022 - 12:00pm
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes Daniel Ricciardo can deliver more Formula 1 grand prix wins for the team.
Ricciardo won last year’s Italian Grand Prix but has struggled for consistency thus far in 2022.
The American made comments in the lead up to the Monaco Grand Prix which served to heap further pressure on the Australian.
They’re comments he stands by and has since claimed they’ve not impacted his relationship with Ricciardo in any way.
Speaking with Fox Motorsport host Jessica Yates, Brown reaffirmed his support for McLaren’s most recent grand prix winner.
“I know he can win us more races,” he said in the interview, also available on Kayo Freebies.
“We’re trying unbelievably hard, but given his resume and how Lando [Norris] is going, do we expect him to be right next to Lando? Whether that’s right in front or right behind? Yeah, and so does he.
“And we’re going to get there. We’re totally committed to it.”
Ricciardo looked to have turned a corner in Azerbaijan, finishing ahead of Norris in what was a double-points result for McLaren.
The team then had braking issues on both cars in Canada which cost it performance in the latter stages, while last weekend’s British Grand Prix was little short of disastrous on the Australian’s side of the garage.
Worryingly, no explanation has been found for that lack of pace heading into this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, a Sprint format event.
Brown suggests his public criticism pre-Monaco seemed to net positive on-track results, not that it was the intended outcome.
“Maybe [I] need to do that a little bit more often,” he suggested.
“He’s a fighter, and his results since we’ve said that – that’s not how they were intended – he’s been much closer to Lando, and beat Lando.
“So maybe there was something to a little bit of firing him up.
“When you look at these different athletes, you see coaches that yell at their players. So it wasn’t the intended consequence.
“But I think you just keep pushing hard,” he added.
“We love working with him, he loves the team. We’ve seen when we give him a car that’s capable of winning, he can win.
“He said last year he didn’t feel he had a good season last year, and he still won.
“So it’s in there, we’ve just got to figure out how to unlock it in the car that he’s more comfortable with.”
Opening practice at the Red Bull Ring begins tonight with the race on Fox Sports and Kayo from 23:00 AEST on Sunday.