McLaren seeing ‘real benefit’ of Ricciardo signing

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo

Finding his feet with his best result for new team McLaren, Andrea Seidl reckons the Woking outfit will now start to see the “real benefit” of signing Daniel Ricciardo.

The Aussie joined McLaren in the off season with many predicting that the former Renault driver would have the measure of his team-mate Lando Norris.

Instead it was the Brit who held the advantage throughout the opening three race weekends with pundits saying he had made Ricciardo look “bang on average” and had given him a “mammoth task”.

Ricciardo, though, was feeling more comfortable in his MCL35M at the Spanish Grand Prix, hailing his P7 in qualifying as a “mini breakthrough”.

That form continued on Sunday with the seven-time grand prix winner crossing the line in fifth place, his best result of this season.

The former Red Bull driver was happy with his performance.

“It was a better race, I had some good problems,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports. “It was nice to put a better weekend together. So personally I’m happier, we’ve still got some [performance] to find in the car and myself.

“It was a smoother weekend and definitely the best one of the year so far.”

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His team boss Seidl was also happy with the breakthrough, confident McLaren will now start to the see the best of their new signing.

“I’m really looking forward now to the race weekends where he feels fully comfortable with the car,” the German said as quoted by RacingNews365.

“We will see the real benefit not just in terms of speed, but in terms of his experience helping us to keep developing the car together with Lando.

“What I need is simply two drivers that are pushing each other, that are pushing the other cars on track because if you want to stay in this fight in the Constructors’ Championship, you need to have two cars being there to score good points.

“In terms of integration of Daniel into our team, I think it’s not a surprise.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s a surprise how he approached the challenging first races with us. Everyone who was involved in this integration process have done a great job.”

Ricciardo is up to 24 points in the Drivers’ Championship, 17 behind Norris who dropped from third to fourth in the standings.

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