Daniel Ricciardo told to 'be sensible' by McLaren against Lando Norris in Australia

Daniel Ricciardo suggested he was restricted by team orders at McLaren in the closing stages of his home race in Australia.

The 32-year-old ran close behind his team-mate Lando Norris for the vast majority of the Australian Grand Prix on a reprofiled Albert Park circuit.

Ricciardo had an input into the track changes, which had made for a faster layout designed to increase overtaking opportunities with three DRS zones, but he could not get past Norris.

Despite the urgings of his home crowd, the 32-year-old took the chequered flag a mere 0.434sec behind the Briton.

However, rather like last year’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza where Norris had been told to hold station in finishing second to Ricciardo, it appeared team orders were issued in Melbourne to ensure McLaren‘s first double points score of the season in positions fifth and sixth.

When you score your first points of 2022 at your home race! 😁

You did all of us and all of Australia proud this week, Daniel. 🧡#AusGP 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/2tJ7ukKATG

— McLaren (@McLarenF1) April 10, 2022

They were also Ricciardo’s first points of the campaign, although he had hoped to have been able to challenge the Mercedes duo who were just ahead in the early stages of the race before pulling clear of the McLarens.

“I’m satisfied enough,” Ricciardo told Sky F1.

“It’s by far our best result of the season and team result. The first part of the race I thought we had something for Mercedes but as the race progressed the gap extended.

“It looked like a bit of photo finish with me and Lando and I was told he had a few issues towards the end and he slowed down quite a lot. But the team said ‘be sensible’, so I had to control myself a little bit.

“But still, P5 and P6 is still a massive result for us. If you had told me in Bahrain this would have happened I would have laughed sarcastically, so very happy with this progress.”

 

Ricciardo also gave a cautious appraisal of the track changes, which he felt had gone only part-way towards achieving their objective – as following with the new cars was easier but overtaking not necessarily so much.

“I had the feeling it was a step better but we can get more out of it,” said Ricciardo.

“It’s still difficult to make moves because of the short braking zones but there’s no need to redesign it again.

“It can change around quite a bit and we are still trying to get on top of our car and I knew we could have had a weekend like this.”

 

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