McLaren trio were not dwelling or frustrated seeing their F1 rivals score the wins in 2020 and 2021, but it certainly made Italian GP victory a special one.
A McLaren win has been a long time coming! The last came in 2012 Brazilian GP courtesy Jenson Button, thereby making Ricciardo’s maiden win in 2021 for the Woking-based team all the more significant, as a whole. Urging celebrations, and driving the confidence for results forward for the entire team.
Considering it took McLaren 3,213 days for this win despite being the top car in the midfield last year, and contending for it this year with Ferrari, it does seem unfortunate and likely to be frustrating having no wins under McLaren’s belt prior to Monza, especially with the likes of Racing Point, AlphaTauri and Alpine winning in this period.
When asked if that brought any frustrations, McLaren F1 chief Andreas Seidl, however, explained that the importance, internally, is placed on improvement of performance rather than dwelling on past races and others winning. Given last year brought no victories to the team, the focus was and still is on this year and its future races. The plan is continuous advancement of the team and the drivers on all types of tracks and adaptive to all types of driving styles.
Focusing on progressing the team though, does not mean less celebrations. Seidl stated that considering the competitive environment in F1 currently, and where they stand amongst the top guys, celebrating these wins is necessary as a reward for the team and all their hard work. Especially with it being the first win for McLaren in a little under a decade.
“Obviously, not frustrating to see other guys winning, because in the end, if you win the race you deserve it, the more important thing for me is to see that we continuously improve as a team because in the end I want to get to the point with the team, we all want to get there to win races, purely down on our own performance every weekend, any type of track…that’s what I am focused on,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“But obviously we want to take opportunities when they are there because obviously a moment like Monza is simply a great reward for everyone in the team, back home and at the track, for Lando, Daniel, for all the colleagues from Mercedes, for all the hard work everyone is putting in and it’s important also to celebrate these moments because they don’t come that often at the moment for a team like us, still having a lot of work ahead of us. But obviously very happy how we could pull this off last weekend,” summed up Seidl.
Monza was not just history made for Mclaren, but for Ricciardo as well. His first win since 2018 with Red Bull, came after a hard first half of the season in a new car. Competing with teammate Norris, whose results have been good both this year and the year prior, totaling four podiums, sans Monza. Celebrating this win and what it took to get to this point is important; basking in the glory, and embracing what happened a week ago is necessary.
Both Ricciardo and Norris did not wish to dwell too much into their rivals winning, but had focus on themselves. “I think that that makes it feel worth it,” said the Australian, when talking of the win in context of rivals winning and not them. “I’ve only been a part of this team for four/six months. Obviously Lando can speak more about his time here, yeah, like the growth with the team, but for me it was obviously, Lando’s had podiums this year and it was all about me just trying to improve my results and get up on the box.
“Even like personally Monza, it’s a track I’ve always done well on but never been on the podium and it’s one of the coolest podiums on the calendar, so to like do it all and then like go straight to the top with a win and then to get a one-two. I know last year Carlos finished second and second was huge for the team but there was kind of frustration because it was like a few more laps, we would have a chance to win so like the team probably held on to a bit of that and then to come here a year later and get a one-two it’s unreal.
“I think like more than anything, us as drivers and us as a team need to just enjoy. I’m glad we’ve got a week off to actually embrace the moment. I think it’s been maybe like a decade or something since the last one-two so yeah, if you’re going to do it, do it properly! It’s like that’s where I think we as a team can take so much fulfilment is that we earned it.
“We were leading and well, we were one and three I think to go and we were like putting ourselves in a great position, the team made good pit stops so like we put ourselves in a winning position and it wasn’t circumstances or I think that’s where we can really sleep knowing that we earned every bit of this,” summed up Ricciardo.
A deserved win, as Ricciardo said, makes it all the more sweet, with Norris concurring with his teammate. “I think Daniel’s said it well,” he started. “I think a lot of times you’ve seen other people win, it’s because of a bit of luck here and there and so on but I think all weekend we’ve just done a very good job. We were in the right place at the right times, we’ve done a good job of the strategies. We put ourselves in this better position and with my side, getting out of Lewis, with Daniel getting past two of the cars then he put himself in that position and that was just because we did a good job.
“We had a fast car and we maximised everything we had, so I don’t think there was any luck with what we did in Monza. I think from the beginning we knew we could have a good one. We bounced back well from Zandvoort, from one of our worst races of the season, to probably the best we can have so actually it can’t actually get any better than this. I think we bounced back well and we just did a perfect job this weekend, from the team’s side, from our side as drivers.
“I think we worked pretty well and there was no luck with it, which I think makes it definitely a bit sweeter because it’s just deserved and it’s that hard work and effort that everyone’s put in, at the track and back in MTC as well and that definitely makes it sweeter for everyone. It’s cool to be part of it, I’ve been part of McLaren for a bit longer so to be on this little journey we’ve had together already to go from one podium a few years ago to a few more this season and now a one-two it’s pretty insane to think of.
“But it’s such a cool feeling that get inside, to be part of a team like this and to win something like that as well, so I’m happy for them and happy for everyone to be part of it. I’m sure many people will think we’re lucky because the other two crashed but Daniel was ahead from the beginning and lead the race so I think he deserved it we still had to do a bit of overtaking and defend the whole race. Yeah, deserved by everyone,” said Norris.
The story was written by Selena Aburas
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo on the radio: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.onboard-daniel-ricciardo-celebrates-his-first-win-with-mclaren.1710730710266784185.html
Here’s Lando Norris on the radio: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.onboard-lando-norris-celebrates-amazing-mclaren-1-2.1710730728586525230.html
Here’s McLaren celebrating at MTC: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.mclaren-celebrate-their-monza-triumph-back-at-hq.1711072358734604733.html
Here’s Carlos Sainz on McLaren win
Here’s McLaren on securing that 1-2
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris defending Red Bull/Mercedes