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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 07: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren walks in the Paddock prior to final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 07, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Seidl: “we never lost trust in” Ricciardo

Seidl backs Ricciardo as the Aussie is set to break an F1 record

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McLaren have expressed their faith in Daniel Ricciardo, ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix that will see him break an F1 record. 

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo in Miami  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

This weekend Formula 1 is in Barcelona for the sixth race of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix. All Formula 1 drivers will be racing this weekend, with some Formula 2 drivers taking part in Free Practice 1 today.

The Spanish Grand Prix is usually when teams bring upgrades to their cars. So naturally, it is an important weekend. But it’s also a big weekend for Daniel Ricciardo as well as he is set to break a particular record.

What record will Ricciardo break?

The McLaren driver has raced in Formula 1 since 2011 when he made his debut for Hispania Racing at Silverstone. Since then, he has raced for numerous teams including Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Renault and now McLaren.

Ricciardo is currently the only Australian on the F1 grid. Heading into the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, he is set to break an F1 record that was held by Mark Webber.

Webber retired in 2013, but had started 215 races in F1. At the moment, Ricciardo is level with the former racer, but on Sunday he will have entered 216 Grands Prix. He will then hold the highest number of race entries by an Australian.

This achievement comes after speculation surrounding Ricciardo’s future in the sport and the support from McLaren’s Team Principal.

Andreas Seidl’s Comments

Recently, there has been speculation and talk about Ricciardo’s potential retirement. However, countering the rumours, Andreas Seidl has expressed McLaren’s faith in Ricciardo.

Seidl has said that McLaren trust Ricciardo to win even more races, adding to his eight victories, if they can provide a good car. The Team Principal said McLaren and Ricciardo “are both in a very good place” and the aim is to make the “journey [they] are on together a very successful one.”

In the interview with The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, Seidl continued to say:

“Daniel has shown in the past that with the right car and the right team he can pull off race wins, so there is no reason why he should not be able to fight for world titles if we deliver from our side.”

Ricciardo struggled with getting to grips with the car last year in his first season with McLaren. However, he did improve throughout the season, culminating to a race win in Monza that was a McLaren 1-2.

Daniel Ricciardo at Monza
MONZA Daniel Ricciardo (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

This season got off to a rocky start as Ricciardo contracted Covid. So far, out of the first five races, the Aussie has only finished in the points once. His home race in Australia saw him finish P6, scoring eight points.

Fight for race wins

Seidl believes that Ricciardo has what it takes to fight for race wins. He said “he’s very experienced, he has seen different teams and different organisations an he has a clear idea of what it means to fight for race wins and that’s an experience we wanted to have in the team when we got Daniel on board.”

When commenting on areas of improvements for Ricciardo, Seidl said that “the most important thing a driver must have is speed.” He noted that having speed is only something the team can address in terms of providing the “right material”.

Seidl highlighted Ricciardo’s strength of fighting “with the best in his sport and win races” if he has “the right material, the right car, the right team.” He continued saying that “despite the huge experience” Ricciardo has, “he is not shying away from still putting the effort in to get better.”

Never give up

Seidl has confirmed McLaren’s faith and trust in Ricciardo. He said:

“He never lost the trust of the team, we never lost the trust in him…”

The Woking team want to see Ricciardo be able to “celebrate this milestone” of breaking Webber’s record with a “competitive car” and a “good result”.

The Spanish Grand Prix is on Sunday, with Qualifying tomorrow. Ricciardo will be looking to improve on his recent performances, aiming to get into the points once again.

Feature Image: GettyImages

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