Daniel Ricciardo has received an apology from his McLaren boss Andreas Seidl for the problem that cost him possible Saudi Arabian Grand Prix points.
The Australian is enduring another tough start to a season with McLaren, having been forced to miss official testing when he contracted COVID-19 and then finishing 14th in Bahrain with a car that was well off the pace.
Things looked like taking a turn for the better when Ricciardo was running 11th, ahead of his team-mate Lando Norris, in Jeddah and in with a chance of scoring his first points of the campaign when he lost drive on lap 38 and had to retire, only being able to roll the car down the pit lane.
An early pit-stop to change his medium tyres for a set of the hard compound on lap nine – the first driver to do so – had looked like potentially playing into Ricciardo’s hands.
We’ll keep at it. Building towards #AusGP. 💪🇦🇺 @DanielRicciardo pic.twitter.com/mOnWfYwVBa
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 28, 2022
“Obviously we can only apologise to Daniel that we didn’t give him the material he deserves to have because from his side I think it was a strong weekend,” said Seidl, quoted by GPFans.
“With the strategy we chose with him, to offset him a bit from everyone else after he was stuck in the early stint, I think it would have paid off and I think he could have finished right where Lando finished.”
Norris ended up seventh to score McLaren’s first points of the season, although the team are still some way adrift of where they had hoped to be performance-wise.
Asked about the issue that had caused the MCL36 to stop, Seidl added: “We still need to analyse why exactly we lost drive. It’s something we experienced for the first time.”
Ricciardo had been given a three-place grid penalty at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for blocking Esteban Ocon in Q2, with the team also blamed and fined 10,000 euros having not done enough to inform their driver about the fast-closing Alpine.
In the end, it had only amounted to a two-place drop due to Mick Schumacher’s withdrawal by the Haas team following his big crash in qualifying.
Ricciardo said of his race: “I lost drive so there could be a number of things, maybe drive shaft if I was to guess, but I’m no mechanic so don’t take my word for it.
“I think we could have had double points, which would have been pretty awesome from where we were a week ago.
“I think there are some positives to take from the weekend for sure. We still have a lot to go but certainly some progress, which is nice.”
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