Zak Brown says his relationship with Daniel Ricciardo hasn’t changed despite the comments from the American amid tough F1 2022.

McLaren’s Ricciardo has endured a tough 2022 which is well known fact. He had a tough time getting used to the McLaren in 2021, but of course it all came good in the end with a victory at Monza. This season has been tough to so far with his best result being sixth place at Melbourne.

The rumour mill started some races back when Brown advised that Ricciardo hadn’t met with expectations with questions raised on his contract. The American himself had been asked a question and quite simply gave an answer which many people chose to read between the lines.

“I was asked a question and I just gave an honest answer,” said Brown. “I think Daniel has said the same thing. We’re here to try and get towards the front. We’ve had some awesome weekends, like Monza, and then some disappointing weekends and I don’t think, again, coming back to our car, I don’t think we’re yet giving our drivers a car that’s capable of being at the front on a regular basis”.

“So we need to do that. And you know, we’ve got a great relationship and I just gave an honest answer to a question about how things are going and things could be going better, but we’re going to work hard and make sure that they do in the future,” summed up Brown.

Purely and simply, it has been a tough season for McLaren, but Lando Norris has also had a hard enough season, however he has had better results, possibly adapting better to the new rules and the car itself. As Ricciardo has been in the firing line somewhat, one might question where the relationship is between Brown and the Aussie.

Brown himself is philosophical on the matter and it appears all is good in spite of the comments of the team boss several weeks back. “No, not at all,” said Brown. “We have a great, great relationship. We had dinner a couple of weeks ago in London, we have good laughs together and enjoy racing together so the relationship with Daniel’s never been better.”

At the end of the day, they are racers, they want the best results for themselves and the team, they have ambition for both championships. Ricciardo’s had a tough season but as per above, last season at Monza when the car was to his liking, it all came good, albeit helped by a certain collision but nevertheless to finish first, first of all you have to finish.

“Daniel’s shown, like he did in Monza last year, that when we give him a car that suits his driving style and his pace, he’s going to go out and lead laps and win a race,” said Brown. “And I think we need to have a car that’s a little bit more performance and user friendly and he’ll get the job done.”

Here’s Zak Brown on F1 calendar

Here’s Jehan Daruvala testing with McLaren

Here’s Lando Norris being blunt on McLaren’s situation