Daniel Ricciardo, Zak Brown, NASCAR demonstration run, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

McLaren boss Brown: “I’m still a huge Daniel Ricciardo fan”

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says he “hated” deciding to cut Daniel Ricciardo’s contract short having lured him away from Renault.

In brief

Brown “still a huge fan” of Ricciardo

Ricciardo will leave McLaren a year before his contract was due to expire. Brown, who tried to bring Ricciardo into his team on one occasion before they eventually agreed terms for 2021, said he “hated” making himself cut Ricciardo’s three-year deal short as the driver struggled to perform at the team.

“It’s probably the toughest thing I’ve had in my time in motorsports, it wasn’t pleasant, not fun,” he told Kayo Sports.

“I tried to get Daniel before he went to Renault, so this was years in the making. I’m a huge Daniel fan. I’m still a huge Daniel fan and that’ll never change.”

Ricciardo has indicated he does not expect to compete in the 2023 F1 season.

Mercedes’ pace deficit “within the bounds of what’s possible to find”

Mike Elliott, Mercedes’ F1 technical director, says his team understands now what changes they need to make to their car design to eliminate its 2022 weaknesses, and how much of a performance gain is expected to be required to fight for wins again.

“Once you put that right, how much performance do you need to find and I’m obviously not going to give you a number because that would be giving a lot away, but I think it’s within the bounds of what’s possible to find,” he said. “So I think we’ve got to work diligently, work hard over the winter, but hopefully we can get ourselves back into a position where we’re fighting right at the front.”

Lotus reveal Fittipaldi tribute electric hypercar

Lotus honoured Fittipaldi with their new hypercar
Lotus has produced a limited edition of its Evija electric hypercar to mark the 50th anniversary of Emerson Fittipaldi’s first world championship success.

Eight of the 130 Evijas will be produced in a black-and-gold livery evoking the colours of the ground-breaking 72 which Fittipaldi took to the 1972 championship. Jenson Button was invited to test drive one of eight examples of the 2,000bhp-plus (1,500W) machine.

“It sounds like a jet engine,” the 2009 world champion enthused. “You think of an EV as quiet but it’s not. The torque is astronomical. It’s amazing, it puts a big smile on your face.”

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Comment of the day

The FIA’s unprecedented handling of last year’s season finale makes the prospect of four dead rubber races a curious one for Jim:

I have no idea why the FIA is bothering with the final 4 races. Last year’s ruling in Abu Dhabi showed that the winner of the WDC is all that matters.

We have a winner already. Just shut it down and save the money. Positions 3-10 were given no opportunity to race to the finish and that was upheld as legitimate interpretation of the rules. Just a farce.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fer No. 65, Sebastiaan Huizinga and Carlos!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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25 comments on “McLaren boss Brown: “I’m still a huge Daniel Ricciardo fan””

  1. COTD should have simply ended with ‘I have no idea’.
    The rest of it was simply more moaning.

    1. COTD used to be an award of some sort, a kind of recognition for a well funded and sometimes original take on a subject. Nowadays it seems to be the comment that can keep the comment section going.

    2. I don’t agree the races should be abandoned (not that they could be). But I’ve already tuned out of this season and there is a valid point that the Abu Dhabi finale mess up centered entirely around the fact that the race director, FIA, Liberty whoever, were focused solely on the Max-Lewis showdown for the title. Every other driver and team were deemed completely irrelevant in those final laps. Hence the debacle.

    3. @aussierod yeah it’s the worst COTD I’ve seen in a while.

      1. Odd one for sure, wasn’t even far down yesterdays round up, can’t see any reason to feature it.

        Maybe it’s the sites way of saying post some better comments? 🤣

        1. can’t see any reason to feature it.

          It got quite a few reactions yesterday. One would almost think it’s just to repeat the clickfest ;)

  2. COTD: someone who does not watch F1 to enjoy F1.

    1. +1
      Along with the underlying message “Races are worthless without championship implications” which I find kinda sad.

      1. We need a new category. WCOTY: Weirdest Comment Of The Year

    2. It is indicative of the new kind of fans. The fans that turn off a race if their fave is out of contention for some reason.

      I don’t think we need to play gatekeeper or anything, if that is what you want to get out of the sport, all power to ya, but I don’t see why the FIA should accommodate that and deprive the rest of us of our fun.

      1. Indeed. A bit off in my opinion though, F1 is a lot more than the the Championship and please take on consideration the contracts established tickets sold and TV rights, if that isn’t enough the disrespect for the fans, pilots sponsors… to call the season to an end…just because…

      2. Ever since Seb was struggling at Ferrari in 2020, I changed from that mindset. It’s incredible to see the level of perfection that RB/Merc had in 21 and RB has in 22, from a team and driver synchronization standpoint. Thats what it should be about.

  3. That Lotus Evija hypercar has a DRS button, LOL.

    COTD is weird. Even though the WDC is mathematically clinched & WCC is near-certain, the lower positions in WCC also have value, so ending a season prematurely just because championships get decided before the last race would be unfair.

    1. Yes, and races can still be interesting, although it seems that both a ferrari and a merc win is unrealistic with the red bull’s current speed, even when verstappen isn’t there perez seems quick enough to win.

  4. I’ll never understand McLaren’s position on this. If you like someone, and believe in them, and don’t want to see them go. Why would you let them go? Why not continue to work to find out where the issue is, and how you can come to terms with rectifying it?

    There’s something deep there, a problem or concern, that they just can’t get right. It’s like there’s a pimple that’s turned into a boil, and instead of lancing it and fixing the problem properly, they’re putting on a bandaid and hoping it comes good.

    Sure it might work this time, Piastri may come to the team and gel with the car and get some results. But for the long term not learning how to fix that underlying cause if a fully acknowledged great driver can’t get the car to work. It can only be a negative.

    1. Their underlying cause in this case is that they’ve decided to build a car for Norris.

    2. My thoughts exactly. If there are multiple drivers over multiple years telling you the car is weird to drive then maybe they need to hire an engineering team that doesn’t build inherent flaws into each successive car.

      I also don’t quite get the we love Dan posturing, they’re spending $14million to not have him in the car, and replacing him with a rookie, they could’ve kept Dan and the $14million and still had piastri as a reserve driver waiting to take dans seat in 24 after spending a year getting to know the team. It makes little sense.

  5. Yeah – I don’t agree with COTD. Even if Man City breeze the league with 5 games left. I’d still happily watch Erling Haaland or Mo Salah, Lewandoski in La Liga do their thing regardless of whats on offer. Sport is entertainment. The silver cups at the end are nothing in comparison to people just being brilliant at something and seeing them do it.

    Also – Abu Dhabi – Interlagos etc will have paid for the privilege. You can’t take it away because Max won – and then everyone goes home.

    1. Yes, and especially in these no-racing-in-the-wet times interlagos is very special to me, it was the last race where full wets were a good choice, in the 2016 race: when verstappen tried intermediates it just didn’t work, he went back to intermediates and did that famous recovery to third, hopefully more races like that.

    2. back to full wet*

  6. One does wonder is Binotto a Vettel fan

  7. Huhuhu COTD is a bigtime shot at the FIA

  8. Zak is american, right? Seems like typical small talk, hey, how you doing, nice to meet you, see you soon (never)

  9. Being a huge Ricciardo Dan is one thing but his performance has been subpar to say the least

    I mean having potential is great

Comments are closed.