Ricciardo must ‘put own career to one side’ for McLaren

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo speaking with McLaren engineers. Bahrain March 2022

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo speaking with the team's engineers. Bahrain March 2022

Daniel Ricciardo needs to “put his own career to one side” to focus solely on what is best for McLaren in their current struggles.

That’s according to former F1 driver turned commentator Martin Brundle.

It is fair to say McLaren’s 2022 campaign, and the first season under Formula 1’s new technical regulations, is not going to plan.

The Woking team was off the pace at the Bahrain Grand Prix, neither Ricciardo nor Lando Norris scoring a single point – nor were they even in the running to do so, P14 and 15 respectively.

It has former F1 driver Jacques Villeneuve musing as to how McLaren could have “screwed up” so badly.

But rather that kick McLaren while they are down, Brundle says the Woking team now needs help sorting out their issues and has backed Ricciardo to do just that.

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo does a pit stop, mechanics surrounding the car. Bahrain March 2022

“It’s a difficult time for him,” Brundle told foxsports.com.au. “He’s been kicked in the guts, hasn’t he, which is a great shame.

“Daniel’s got the talent and determination, I have no doubt about that.

“He’s got the touch behind the wheel. [But] you can’t out-drive a car if it’s not fully competitive.

“It’ll be telling now if he can dig deep and help.

“He’s got to help drive that team forward. That’s what he’s there to do. That’s why they wanted his speed and experience.

“He’s almost got to put his own career to one side and just drive the team forward and then reap the rewards from there rather than look inward.”

Ricciardo wasn’t able to help McLaren during the second pre-season test, the Australian forced to miss all three days after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Aussie has revealed he was in a “pretty tough place” health wise.

The good news for the former Red Bull driver and his new team is that Brundle believes McLaren can get it right. He just doesn’t know when that will happen.

 

“I think they’ll get it right,” the Briton added.

“The problem with McLaren, as great a team as they are, is they’ve got a new wind and tunnel coming… and that wind tunnel won’t deliver results on track until 2024 probably — until you get it up, calibrated and then the designs going through that tunnel onto the track.

“It is a long lead time. So he might have to show some patience there, and they’ll have to show patience with him.”