“We have a contract in place plus options,” Andreas Seidl hints at a long term journey with Daniel Ricciardo

Andreas Seidl has hinted at a long term future with Daniel Ricciardo

Andreas Seidl with Daniel Ricciardo
Andreas Seidl with Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren team boss, Andreas Seidl has hinted that McLaren may extend Ricciardo’s contract, keeping him on the team for a longer period of time than what his current contract runs to.

Norris’ future is not in question, and his contract runs till 2025. This is absolutely not the case for Ricciardo, whose contract runs until the end of next season. In addition to the contract length, Ricciardo’s spell at McLaren has generally been disappointing. Despite an amazing highlight victory at Monza last season, with a 1-2 finish for McLaren, Ricciardo has struggled to keep up with Norris.

Ricciardo finished the 2021 season 45 points behind Norris’ 160 and was 8th in the championship. His tally of 115 points was 4 less than his 119 points for Renault in 2020, where the season only had 17 races, compared to the 22 of the next one. He is currently 11th, coincidentally with 11 points, which is 24 less than Norris’ 35. Ricciardo has only finished one race in the points.

Despite this, Andreas Seidl hinted that Ricciardo might stay longer than his current contract. Speaking to The Age, Seidl emphasized that they want to make Ricciardo’s stint (and consequently the team) ‘successful’.

“We have a contract in place with Daniel until the end of next year, plus options, which means we are both in a very good place. We want to make this journey we are on together a very successful one.”

Seidl clearly has faith in the Australian and felt that Ricciardo just needs the ‘right’ car.

“We have a contract in place with Daniel until the end of next year, plus options, which means we are both in a very good place. We want to make this journey we are on together a very successful one.”

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Speed most important to Seidl

Daniel Ricciardo Mclaren
Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren MCL36

Seidl feels that Ricciardo has proven his ability to compete with the best of the best under the right circumstances.

The most important thing a driver must have is speed,” he continued. “That’s something we can’t fix as a team if it’s not there. Daniel has shown in the past if he has the right material, the right car, [and] the right team around him, he can fight with the best in his sport and win races.”

Daniel Ricciardo’s first victory came at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix, in a year where Mercedes reigned supreme, and by quite a margin at that. This made him the only non-Mercedes driver to win a Grand Prix, and he won 2 more. In fact, he finished a whopping 71 points over the man who had recently just won 4 world championships in a row, his teammate Sebastian Vettel. Ricciardo has 5 more race victories to his name over the course of his career.

“He’s very experienced, he has seen different teams and different organizations and he has a clear idea of what it means to fight for race wins, and that’s an experience we wanted to have in the team when we got Daniel on board.”

Ricciardo made his debut with HRT in 2011 and then moved on to Toro Rosso for 2012, being promoted to Red Bull at the advent of the new Hybrid era, replacing Mark Webber. He moved to Renault in 2019, the reason cited that he felt he personally ‘needed’ the move. At Renault, Ricciardo outscored his teammates by quite a bit in both seasons.

“As a team boss, as important as doing a great job inside the car it is [equally] as important being a great leader within the team outside the car.”

Ricciardo has always been popular amongst the fans, owing to his giddy persona and humorous demeanor. His antics are well-known, and for the most part, well-loved.

“The drivers are the heroes of the sport. It is especially important when things go wrong on a weekend that these guys stay positive and motivate the team and Daniel is great at that, not just at the track but especially in the factory.”

“Daniel is the one who was disappointed the most with the challenging start he had with us. But we have to accept changing a team from one year to the next in this complex environment with these complex cars, with the limited testing time we also had last year, it was always a challenging mission which Daniel was up for.”

The Australian driver has definitely had difficulties in adapting to the car after his move and said that his driving style is different from the strengths of the McLaren MCL35M.

“But the most important thing was Daniel never gave up. He never lost the trust of the team, we never lost the trust in him and he continued to improve throughout the season. He had a strong second half, including a great result in our first win for many, many years at Monza.”

Indeed, McLaren’s weekend at Monza was amazing, and their first victory since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, where Jenson Button had come out on top.

As of the race weekend in Spain, Seidl stated that: “I hope we can give him this weekend a competitive car so he can celebrate this milestone with a good result.” The milestone is that Ricciardo will be starting his 216th race on the grand stage of Formula 1, which will see him surpass the man he replaced at Red Bull, Mark Webber.

McLaren, have in fact bought a host of new upgrades to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

In Spain, Ricciardo will be hoping for a better outing than in Imola (especially with the new upgrades) where he collided with Carlos Sainz, compromising his race, and forcing Sainz to retire. The following weekend at Miami was not too much better, and he finished 13th.

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