Andreas Seidl explained what was ongoing during the end stages of F1 Italian GP in the pitwall with regards to Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris positions.
The 2021 Italian GP is now etched into McLaren’s history, giving the team its first win since Brazil 2012 and its first 1-2 since Canada 2010. It is also Ricciardo’s first win since Monaco 2018 and Norris’ highest finishing position ever in F1. The prior list of accolades by the team, however, had relied on teamwork and communication by both the drivers and the pitwall, said team principal Seidl.
Ricciardo had led the race from Lap 1, overtaking pole sitter and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen into Turn 1. After the incident between the Mercedes and Red Bull, Ricciardo had an even bigger chance to take the win. However, teammate Norris’ pace and gritty drive got him right behind the Australian in second after he cleared Charles Leclerc.
There were some radio messages exchanged towards the end and Norris’ radio message to the pitwall showed his team spirit and willingness to concede for overall benefit of the team. It seemed like he wanted to understand the play, when he asked his engineer to ask Ricciardo to hurry up, where at one point, he seemed quick.
He did ask if staying second was the best thing to do for the team, and after getting the affirmative to hold position, Norris did just that in order to secure the win for Ricciardo and 1-2 for McLaren. According to Seidl, the preparation for the race was such and crucial at every point in order to update drivers on pace and the gaps to other drivers. There lap times were similar and the drivers understood the message readily.
“I think you need to understand that we prepared this race very well from strategy side with both drivers so the team is doing a sensational job there and during the race was simply a good communication between drivers and the pitwall in order to understand at every single point of the race is the pace in hand a lot because we needed that information in the end then to tell Daniel again to go faster,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net, when asked about the situation towards the end.
“I think we had two cars that had exactly the same pace. I think both cars were in control of the pace at any point of the race and in the end it was just important to manage the gaps between Daniel and Lando, to make sure he always had a tow, and that there is a gap to the car behind. That’s why, there was all this communication, going backwards and forwards. And that’s why Lando, for example, also wanted to show us, ‘Look, let’s tell Daniel to push a bit more in order to be a bit more safe compared to the car behind’ and that’s what we did. It’s great to see a team effort as well,” summed up Seidl.
Ricciardo was certainly thankful, but he did the hard work to get ahead, both in Sprint Qualifying and also the main F1 race. At the same time, Norris was not at all upset too, as was happy for himself and for the team. Interestingly, he also had flashbacks of the Hamilton and Max Verstappen incident, which swayed him to hold position.
“I got a bit closer on one lap and I don’t know why I had a few flashes seeing the incident between Max and Lewis because I saw it quite well in my mirrors, so when I thought maybe I’ll try, that was flashing up in my head and I thought nah, maybe this isn’t the wisest decision,” said Norris in the press conference.
“So, I would have loved to go for it but, I’m just as happy in a way, like as much as I would have loved to go for the win, just finishing first and second, I’m just as happy with the feeling I get for the win is the priority over my own feeling in a way. I’m here for many years, I hope, especially with McLaren and with the whole team, so I feel like I still have an opportunity in the future to try and go for it but in this moment and instance, I was happy just staying where I was,” summed up Norris.
The story was written by Selena Aburas
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo post his win: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.onboard-daniel-ricciardo-celebrates-his-first-win-with-mclaren.1710730710266784185.html
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris defending Red Bull/Mercedes