What bothers Brown most about McLaren Ricciardo split - The Race

What bothers Brown most about McLaren Ricciardo split – The Race

Before, during and after McLaren’s split from Daniel Ricciardo, both parties – publicly or otherwise – always recognized how much work was needed for what should have been a dream Formula 1 matchup to realize its potential, or at least return to an adequate level.

That hasn’t changed, on McLaren’s side, with the release of a 30-minute interview with CEO Zak Brown reflecting on 2022 and looking ahead to McLaren’s five championships next year.

But where Brown struck a defensive tone was in acknowledging the “challenges” of public perception of how the McLaren-Ricciardo relationship ultimately ended a year earlier versus what was actually happening.

These details, as you might expect, have not been developed. But the juxtaposition contributed to what he described as “a very difficult year, and that’s personal”, while again expressing his disappointment that Ricciardo’s two-year spell at McLaren – a win at Monza apart – didn’t work.

“Specifically Daniel, who was great to work with and who gave us our first win,” Brown said, when asked about the tough decisions he had to make in 2022 and how difficult he found them. “We had a lot of fun together and we had a lot of frustration together because it didn’t work out.

“I think the hard part is being judged by people who aren’t really close to it.

“And everyone has an opinion, and that’s fine, and that’s sport, I think you can’t be in sport and not have the thick skin that the fans in the stands or the media go to. have their point of view, and you just need to be grounded in, ‘I know what really happened’, I know the relationship that I really have with Daniel and his management and how great that was transparent and how collaborative it was.

Ricciardo, obviously, has remained true to his commitment to solving his problems even past the point of no return. The fact that he did so and didn’t let the situation ‘destroy the team’ was praised by former team principal Andreas Seidl.

And McLaren, Ricciardo thinks, did the same with him – his in-depth interview with The Race in October will tell you as much.

It was Ricciardo’s contrary suggestions and extraction process that proved difficult for Brown.

“It wasn’t what a lot of people thought it was and it’s frustrating because you kind of get unfairly accused of certain actions that you know, and he knows, and those close to him know that’s not actually not what happened,” he added.

“But we are in a top sport, and what makes our sport great is the fans who have opinions. These days, unfortunately, I think we see a lot of people going over what is appropriate commentary, but that’s the world we live in.

“As long as those close to us know what really happened, you just roll with the punches.”

Brown has said in the past that one lesson he learned from the Ricciardo experience was to build more performance protections for the team into contracts.

This is for all drivers. Not just someone of Ricciardo’s caliber, if McLaren chooses to go that route again.

What should underline Brown’s confidence in the relationship he has with Ricciardo, who will be Red Bull’s third F1 driver in 2023, is his statement – whether it annoys you or not – that he would bring Ricciardo back into a McLaren (of sorts) at some future time.

“It was tough, we all love Daniel,” Brown said of the impact of letting Ricciardo go to make way for Oscar Piastri. “He’s so great in the garage, on the radio and at MTC. But sometimes things don’t work out.

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“It’s a bit of a mystery because he definitely has the talent; he showed us that at Monza he won eight Grands Prix – it’s not won because everyone was eliminated in Turn 1, at Monza he took the lead and he left. So frustrating for all of us.

“But the memory of Monza is to this day my best memory of my 30 years of motorsport, and I have Daniel to thank for that. .

“And the door remains open for him to be in a McLaren in the future if the stars align. I would love to race with him again.

#bothers #Brown #McLaren #Ricciardo #split #Race

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