McLaren boss Andreas Seidl believes that Daniel Ricciardo’s performance at the Singapore Grand Prix proved that he is still a “top driver”.
The Australian scored his best result of the 2022 season to date by finishing P5, one place behind teammate Lando Norris in fourth.
With the team’s championship rivals Alpine suffering a double retirement, McLaren were able to benefit from their points haul by moving up into P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.
Needless to say, Seidl was thrilled with the outcome for the team.
“Obviously, [I’m] mega happy with today’s race,” Seidl told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“The team did an excellent job together with both drivers, in very tricky conditions, in order to maximise the result.
“The team on the pit wall [had] good communication with the drivers, [to] find the right balance between trying to achieve a great result but at the same time be patient and not taking unnecessary risks.
“Trying to switch, for example, too early to slick tyres, because we were in a good position already in the first stint. That was obviously, I think, key to this great result.”
Seidl happy for Ricciardo’s side of garage
Seidl has praised the role that both drivers played in securing the result, and admits he was especially happy for Ricciardo after what has been a difficult year for the 33-year-old.
“What a drive from both drivers. It was very tricky today,” he explained.
“I’m very happy obviously for Daniel as well and everyone who works on Daniel’s car, to finally achieve such a great result.
“[It was a] great recovery from starting in P16, to get to P5 which is well deserved, looking at all the commitment and hard work that went in from Daniel and his crew throughout the year, so [I’m] very happy.”
McLaren “never doubted” Ricciardo’s abilities
It was confirmed in August that Ricciardo had mutually agreed with McLaren to terminate his 2023 contract with the team early. He will be replaced by his countryman Oscar Piastri.
Despite his impending exit from the squad, Seidl thinks that Ricciardo’s performance in Singapore highlights his skills.
“I’m just very happy for him,” Seidl said.
“For the entire side of his garage, because they’ve worked so hard all year, including Daniel, in order to score such a result, and that’s why it’s so great that it finally worked out and everything came together.
“I guess Daniel has shown today, in these tricky conditions, that he is – and we have never doubted – still a natural top driver.
“Hopefully that [now] gives him and his crew a big boost in order to make sure that in the final five races together, we keep scoring good points, because that’s going to be very important for our battle we are in in the Constructors’ Championship.”