Andreas Seidl has lent his support to the under fire Daniel Ricciardo as pressure mounts on the McLaren driver.
The Australian was caught in the crosshairs in Monaco this weekend following comments from team CEO Zak Brown during the week that his performance fell short of expectations.
Ricciardo crashed during free practice 2 on Friday afternoon and faced further criticism, although the team has taken responsibility for that incident.
Nevertheless, pressure on the 32-year-old continued to mount, prompting team boss Seidl to defend him as the media frontman on Saturday morning.
“I see that differently,” Seidl said when asked if Ricciardo’s crash on Friday couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“Of course in such a situation it is important that we separate the different subjects.
“Barcelona, in the race for Daniel it just wasn’t possible to get a better pace.
“We had to analyze that after the race, what we did, and we found a problem with the car that gave us an explanation, which was important, then we learned from that and took steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“Yesterday, as I said before, as a team we probably tried to push too much together with Daniel, and that’s why we ended up having the crash.
“That can happen here in Monaco.
“Obviously you want to avoid it, it’s not ideal to miss a whole session, but Daniel has enough experience, we are experienced enough as a team to put that behind us.”
While Seidl defended Ricciardo, it’s no secret that he has struggled to get used to the McLaren 2022, a point the driver himself admitted on Friday.
“It was still a little tricky for me to always learn 100 per cent with the car and feel like I can get out, say these spectacular laps, but that sounds like I’m really making myself bigger,” said Ricciardo .
“But getting those heaters out, I think, was definitely more difficult.
“There have been some races and times where it was good but honestly still going.
“I would like to say that from now on I will be half a second faster and great every race, I mean I would love to, and I’m working on getting that, but it’s a bit of a process. †
It is an opinion that Seidl shares.
“Overall, Daniel himself says, he still doesn’t feel, say 100 percent, with the car, especially when it comes to pushing him to his limits in qualifying,” he said.
“He’s also going up against a very strong teammate with Lando [Norris]and if you put both things together, that’s the gap we’ll see sometimes.
“All we can do, together with Daniel, with a commitment from both sides, is just keep working hard to find these last percentages, and that’s what we’re all dedicating our energy to.”
Ricciardo qualified 14th for the Monaco Grand Prix, his best time 1.1 seconds slower than Norris, who will start fifth.
The Monaco Grand Prix starts tonight at 11 p.m. AEST.