“He needed some time to adjust at Renault too”: McLaren boss feels Daniel Ricciardo will improve on his performances in the 2022 season

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Published January 23, 2022

Zak Brown is sure that Daniel Ricciardo will perform better in 2022 after spending the previous campaign adjusting to his new team. 

Ricciardo’s debut season with McLaren has been turbulent to say the least. He had a very slow start to 2021, being outperformed by teammate Lando Norris on all fronts.

It wasn’t until the Italian GP in September that he truly announced his arrival to the team. Ricciardo won the race in Monza, guiding McLaren to their first race win since 2012. Since then, he improved on his performances, and picked up some form towards the end of the season.

However, in terms of the Constructors’ Championship, Ricciardo’s late resurgence was of little help. Ferrari capitalized on the Aussie’s slow start to the year, by picking up big points towards the latter stages. In the end, the Italian team jumped McLaren in the standings to finish P3.

The team’s CEO Zak Brown, is not worried about Ricciardo’s underwhelming 2021 season. He compared his arrival in Surrey to that of his move to Renault in 2019, and insisted that the Perth born driver just needed time to adjust.

Also read: Why F2 champion Oscar Piastri thinks he is not wasting time in 2022 as Alpine reserve driver

Lando Norris’ performances in 2021 put Daniel Ricciardo in the shadows, says Brown

Ricciardo joined Renault in 2019 after spending five years with Red Bull. His first season with the Enstone based outfit was similarly dismal, as he finished ninth with no podiums. It took him time to get up to speed with the French team but he did find form the following year.

“I think if we look back, he also needed some time at Renault to get up to speed,” Brown said to GP fans.

“In addition, Ricciardo’s performance is overshadowed by the strong performance of his team-mate. I think if you have to compete against Norris, who is as fast as the best drivers in Formula 1, then you know you have to go to the limit.”

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Brown went on to say that Ricciardo’s second half of the season, added some much needed confidence to the entire team. They were all encouraged by his progress and the positive atmosphere he brought to the team.

“We saw a different Ricciardo in the second half of the year,” the American continued. “Then he had the speed and much more confidence in the car.

“We saw in Monza what he is capable of and that was a huge achievement. “The best quality of him is that he is a great team-mate, not just for Lando, but for everyone in the pit box.”

Also read: Max Verstappen gears up for the Daytona 24 after Le Man’s crash

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About the author

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and aims to work in the sports industry for the rest of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the great Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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