Daniel Ricciardo can race Lando Norris depending 'on the circumstances', says McLaren team principal

McLaren had ordered both the drivers not to overtake each other at different stages of the Baku race
McLaren had ordered both the drivers not to overtake each other at different stages of the Baku race

McLaren had to answer a few questions due to the way it stage-managed the race between its two drivers in Baku. In the first stint of the race, Daniel Ricciardo was the faster driver on hard tires and quickly gaining on teammate Lando Norris ahead of him on medium tires. The Australian, however, was told to hold station and not attack his teammate.

Later in the race, the roles were reversed when Ricciardo was on medium tires and was getting chased down by Norris. At that point, the team intervened once again and ordered the Briton not to make a move on Ricciardo.

A team effort from the drivers, engineers and mechanics in Baku on Sunday, ending with our cars crossing the line together. 🤜🤛🧡#AzerbaijanGP 🇦🇿

After the race, team principal Andreas Seidl was questioned over the incident whether the two McLaren drivers were free to race. The German replied, saying:

“Yeah, it always depends on the circumstances. Our drivers are free to race, and we always try to provide for both drivers the same opportunities to do well, because that’s our responsibility. But if we are on differing strategies and so on, obviously, you need to make sure as a team that you maximise the outcome.”

McLaren drivers were 'being ambitious and trying to have the best possible race'

During the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris were heard going on the team radio to question their hold-ups in passing each other. McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has now claimed that there was nothing wrong with the team radio interactions with the drivers during the race. Rather, he was happy to hear both the drivers were trying to maximize their respective races.

“Daniel and Lando worked together with the team and maximised all that was in our hands today.” 🤝Hear from Daniel, Lando and Andreas Seidl after today’s #AzerbaijanGP. 🇦🇿👇

The German said:

“I think what we heard on the radio is what you would like to hear from every race driver, being ambitious and trying to have the best possible race for himself. That’s why there’s a team in place that makes sure we have the best possible outcome for the team, without risking [losing] two cars on track by crashing into each other. Because, for example, if Daniel had gone by Lando at the beginning of the race, we would just have ended up in a yo-yo like we have seen with some other teams already this year, both being stuck behind Alonso, and having the risk that [Esteban] Ocon actually goes through, [on] at least one of these cars. Our idea was, with holding position for both cars behind Fernando, that we make sure that we keep Ocon in check, which we did.”

Ricciardo finished the race in 8th position while Norris finished in 9th, giving the team a double-point finish.

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Edited by Anurag C
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