Zak Brown has explained why he publicly made comments about Daniel Ricciardo not meeting expectations at McLaren.
The team CEO attracted attention with the remarks made to Sky Sports F1 in May, where he said: “Short of Monza  and a few races, [the partnership] has not met his or our expectations of what we were expecting.”
Following this, Ricciardo stated that he had taken the criticism as a “roundabout way of a compliment”.
However, Jenson Button expressed surprise at Brown voicing his view publicly, with the former F1 driver arguing that doing so would not help in getting the best out of Ricciardo.
There was also further speculation about the Australian’s future with the team in light of the comments.
Brown: I just gave an honest answer
When asked why he had chosen to make his criticism of Ricciardo public, Brown stated that he had simply answered a question honestly.
“They asked the question, and I just gave an honest answer,” Brown told media, including RacingNews365.com, prior to the Canadian Grand Prix.
“I think Daniel has said the same thing. We’re here to try and get towards the front.
“We’ve had some awesome weekends like Monza, and then some disappointing weekends, and, coming back to our car, I don’t think we’re giving our drivers a car that’s capable of being at the front on a regular basis.
“So we need to do that. We’ve got a great relationship, and I just gave an honest answer to a question of how things are going, and things could be going better.
“We’re going to work hard and make sure that they do [go better] in the future.”
Ricciardo can “get the job done” with car that suits him
Brown has reaffirmed his belief that Ricciardo can perform well when given a car that suits his style, as was the case when he won the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
“Daniel has shown, like he did in Monza last year, [that] when we give him a car that suits his driving style and has pace, that he’s going to go out and lead laps and win a race,” he commented.
“I think we need to have a car that’s a little bit more performance- and user-friendly, and he’ll get the job done.”