Zak Browns clears the air about Daniel Ricciardo: “We have a great relationship”

Daniel Ricciardo (L) and Zak Brown (R)
FirstSportz News

Daniel Ricciardo has not had a particularly good time since his move to McLaren in 2021. While there has been a notable highlight – with him taking victory in Monza last year, completing a 1-2 finish, it is fair to say that most people would not have expected it to be this underwhelming.

Ricciardo was comprehensively beaten last year by his teammate, Lando Norris, by a distance of 45 points. This year, he is currently 35 points behind. According to many people, including Zak Brown, the vast majority of Ricciardo’s woes come from the car not being suited to his driving style.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown, talking to Sky Sports, had said that Ricciardo’s move had not met their expectations: “Short of [Ricciardo’s win at] Monza and a few races, it’s generally not kind of met his or our expectations, as far as what we were expecting.” and on being asked about the statement, had said later that he was just being honest. Once again, Brown has commented on the statements made.

Also Read: “It’s not like I needed a kick in the butt,” Daniel Ricciardo blasts Zak Brown over his “brutal assessment” of the Australian

Zak Brown: Relationship with Ricciardo has ‘never been better’

Daniel Ricciardo (L) and Zak Brown (R)
Zak Brown insists that his relationship with Daniel Ricciardo is fine.

As reported on the Official Formula 1 website, Zak Brown has maintained that his relationship with Daniel Ricciardo has never been better despite the perceived public criticism. Brown dismissed the assumption that the comments had any effect on his relationship with Daniel Ricciardo:

“No, not at all. We have a great relationship and had dinner a couple of weeks ago in London. We have good laughs together and enjoy racing together, so the relationship with Daniel has never been better.”

“I was asked a question and I just gave an honest answer. I think Daniel has said the same thing; we are here to try and get towards the front. We’ve had some awesome weekends like Monza [where Ricciardo led home a McLaren one-two in 2021], and then some disappointing weekends.”

Brown also said that some of this was down to McLaren, as they had not given the drivers a car capable of challenging for the title: “And coming back to our car, I don’t think we’ve yet given our drivers a car that is capable of being at the front on a regular basis, so we need to do that.”

He said Ricciardo had proved that with a competitive car, he can challenge for victories: “I think last year in Monza when we had a strong race car, we could see what Daniel and Lando [Norris] could do with it. I think we need to focus on giving our drivers better race cars. And I think Daniel is highly motivated, he has all of our support, and we’re having fun. I have a great relationship with him.”

McLaren had a disappointing weekend in Canada, where the drivers’ races were compromised by the errors of the pit crew, with Ricciardo finishing 11th and teammate Norris finishing 15th. Lando Norris even said that without circumstances going their way, this was perhaps their true pace. It will be interesting to see if McLaren will be able to bounce back in Silverstone.

Also Read: “We’re here to try and get towards the front”: Zak Brown delivers “honest” words about Daniel Ricciardo

Also Read: “The potential is definitely there,” Zak Brown envisions Colton Herta as a possible replacement for Daniel Ricciardo post-2023