Seidl keeping faith in Ricciardo amid “disappointing” start at McLaren

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl admits it’s “disappointing” the team’s new hiring Daniel Ricciardo is taking so long to get up to speed.

In brief

Seidl confident Ricciardo will “click” with McLaren

Ricciardo failed to reach Q3 for the fifth time in nine races at the Red Bull Ring. Seidl said his continuing difficulties was “disappointing for Daniel” but not yet a cause for alarm.

“Of course it’s also disappointing for us that it takes longer than expected. But at the same time, it’s not the first time, I experienced it also in my motorsport life that sometimes it doesn’t click straight away. It is not that easy and straightforward and it is complex to change teams over winter.

“I’m still very, very confident and I’m absolutely sure that it will click at some point, the day will come when Daniel will fully feel home here with the car and then we will see the Daniel again that we all want to see, the Daniel that is pulling it off weekend by weekend and showing us the performances that we are all used to.”

Nine races into his first season with McLaren, Ricciardo has scored 40 points compared to the 101 of team mate Lando Norris. Although he’s usually brought his car home in the points, Saturdays are a clear weakness: Ricciardo has an average qualifying position of 10.8 to his team mate’s 6.1.

“Of course it’s a challenging period right now for him, for us, especially when seeing how Lando is pulling it off,” Seidl acknowledged. “But that’s a challenge we are in together as a team, together with Daniel. It’s simply important in these moments to stay calm and keep working on the challenge together and making steps, even if it’s small steps. I’m confident that it will come.”

F1 to present latest 2022 car model

2021 F1 car wind tunnel model, Circuit of the Americas
2021 F1 car wind tunnel model, Circuit of the Americas

Formula 1 is to present a full-scale model of a car designed to the new rules for the 2022 season. The car will be revealed on Thursday.

A wind tunnel model of the car was previously presented at the 2019 United States Grand Prix, at which time the rule were due for introduction this year, before they were postponed as a consequence of the pandemic.

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Comment of the day

Poll: Who should Mercedes hire as Hamilton’s team mate for 2022?
However next year may unfold, George Russell is the best choice for Mercedes, says @Olivioroberto:

First: Mercedes develops a car far superior to Red Bull’s.

In this situation, free dispute, let the best win. Even with Perez’s help, Verstappen won’t win many races. Mercedes constructors title and drivers title also with one of the two. A rerun of the 1988 championship (or 2014, if you want something more recent);

Second: Mercedes develops a car similar to the Red Bull.

Victories distributed between the two teams, but Verstappen will win for Red Bull (Perez will be a faithful squire only); at Mercedes, Hamilton and Russell share the victories. Verstappen wins the drivers’ title, as the points will be diluted between Hamilton and Russell while Verstappen will have the leading role in the team, and Mercedes takes the constructors’ title. We’ve already seen such a story in the 2007 championship where Alonso and Hamilton lost to Raikkonen, who was the big underdog in the championship.

Third: Mercedes develops a car inferior to that of Red Bull.

There’s not much to do, maybe Russell and Hamilton will win a race here or there. Verstappen wins the drivers’ title and Red Bull the constructors’ title.

In the three situations above, Verstappen wins in two…

With Bottas, Hamilton will have a leading role if the Mercedes and Red Bull cars are similar (situation two), then he will have chances to beat Verstappen and even win the world title. Thus, the title only escapes you if the car is really bad.

I don’t see Hamilton’s fear for Russell when in his statements he praises Bottas. I see Hamilton thinking about himself (and he has to do that, he doesn’t have to sponsor drivers), wanting to get more titles, more records, and knowing he needs Bottas’ help this year. And honestly I would do the same in his place.

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On this day in motorsport

Nigel Mansell saw off team mate Nelson Piquet for a popular home win today in 1986

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14 comments on “Seidl keeping faith in Ricciardo amid “disappointing” start at McLaren”

  1. The CotD makes a standard statistics mistake.
    If the 2 cars are the same and there are 3 drivers roughly similarly strong then each driver will win 1/3 of the races. Thus the best option.
    Even if Russell is not at that level yet but stronger than Perez, then he will take at least as many points away (strategy and tactics) from Verstappen as from Hamilton.

    Imagine a quiz show with three doors, and a goat behind one of those doors…….

    1. At the risk of being pedantic, but this is not entirely correct.
      Even if you assume that both cars are theoretically equal at all tracks and Hamilton and Verstappen are of equal quality, then Russell is equally likely to take points from Verstappen as from Hamilton, not at least as likely.

      There are a few more reasons why your comment is a bit blunt. Even when cars are roughly equal over a season, they typically have ups and downs per track. Additionally, the points gap between positions gets smaller as you mpve down the rank.

      Let us very lazily assume that
      1) Hamilton, Verstappen and Russell are of equal quality. Perez is assumed to be a level below.
      2) Red bull sloghtly has the best car on 25% of tracks. Mercedes slightly has the best car at 25% of tracks. The other 50%, the cars are effectively equal.
      3) There are no mechanical issues or drivers sacrificed or tactical sacrifices of drivers.
      4) points for sprint races and fastest laps are not counted.

      In the Red bull races, nor Ham nor Rus can take points from verstappen.
      Rus relegates Ham to third in half of those races. This costs Hamilton 3 points each.
      In the Merc races, we assume Ver can’t take points from Ham or Rus.
      Compared to Bottas, Rus relegates Verstappen to third in all these races. Costing him 3 points each.
      Rus relegates Hal to second in half these races, costing him 7 points each.

      In the other 50% of races, Rus, Ver and Ham are likely to finish in any order. Russell takes as many points from Verstappen as from Hamilton.
      Ham-Ver-Rus : Rus takes no points off them
      Ver-Ham-Rus: Idem
      Ver-Rus-Ham: Ham loses 3 points
      Ham-Rus-Ver: Ver loses 3 points
      Rus-Ham-Ver: Ham loses 7. Ver 3.
      Rus-Ver-Ham: Ver loses 7, Ham 3

      If I calculate correctly, Russell will cost Verstappen 1.8 per race and Hamilton 2.3 points. Over a 20 race calendar, this amounts to roughly 37 points taken from Verstappen and 47 taken from Hamilton,

      A Hamilton-level Russell will cost Mercedes the drivers title in this scenario. On the other hand, he would win them the constructor’s title.

      You can play with the advantageous tracks and the relative performance of the drivers to see if you can get different outcomes. F.e. If Russell is better than Ver and Ham, he would win them both titles.

  2. a bit embarrassing, this discussion, in my opinion, for a driver with a record like RIC — one can always drop behind in a certain model of a car — let’s see him in 2022

  3. I am sick of this topic. Yes, he’s struggling to get up to speed with this car, but his record speaks for itself. People are talking like Sainz is clearly better now despite the fact that no one ever rated CS closely before and DR and MV were neck and neck while CS was soundly outshone by a less experienced MV (an MV who was also less experienced than RIC I know).

    1. Agreed. Well and truly over it.
      We know the situation. We know McLaren and Daniel are working on it.

      Let’s move on.

  4. Re Ricciardo: No sign of decline.
    Re 2022 car: I would look at it as a 2021 car, had nothing happened…
    Re George RB: Very low posibility of happening.

    1. He could always be a raikkonen, one who declines early.

      1. Or it shows that Vettel is just really, really mediocre. I mean look how he is doing against Stroll.

  5. Marko saying he wants Russell is surely just to force Mercedes to get him in order to upset the applecart, although he probably would want him for real as well now that he’s hiring outside his young driver’s program. Question is why didn’t he get him instead of Perez before.

    1. @balue Where does he say he ‘wants Russell?’

      1. The first link atop of the page, it’s a german article, don’t know german, but he says he’s worth considering in the english summary.

      2. @robbie Tedious semantics when everyone and their dog know that one doesn’t considering something one doesn’t want

    2. There was interest in both at the same time because of what they did towards the end of 2020, but perez was a much more known quantity, and a lot more experienced, I think it was the right choice, you can always get russel since he’ll be tired to wait around for a mercedes call that never comes.

      1. @esploratore1 Right…so as I implied with my rhetorical question to @balue nowhere is he saying he wants GR, but would consider him (just consider him) IF Mercedes didn’t sign him to their mother team next year and IF they let him go from the Mercedes family, which he doubts will happen. That’s a very far distance away from ‘wanting GR,’ no?

        And, GR is not likely to ‘be tired to wait around for a Mercedes call that never comes’ since the rumours persist that he will get that call. It sure sounds to me like HM thinks GR is a Mercedes man, full stop.

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