McLaren Racing Team Principal Andreas Seidl says that it was an intense Sunday in Mexico for the team.
The Woking-based outfit managed to bring both cars home in the points with Daniel Ricciardo finishing the race in seventh place despite an incident with Yuki Tsunoda which resulted in a ten-second penalty for the Australian however, it was like the old Ricciardo was back as he was on the pace and built up a more than 10s over his team-mate Lando Norris and held that lead with his top ten finish.
Speaking following the action, Ricciardo said:
It was a rollercoaster of a race. Ultimately, I’m happy. I wish it was more of a smooth race in terms of you never want to have contact, and you never want to receive a penalty. So that’s a little bit of a cloud over what was otherwise a good day, but ultimately it still didn’t change the outcome for us.
“I think the penalty was more than enough. I saw a replay and I’ll still take the majority of the responsibility, but it isn’t like I came in sideways and locked-up, I was just there. All he had to do was just miss the apex a bit and we would both get through that corner. I’ll take it but I don’t think it’s something I need to beat myself up over. I was pretty down when Tom [Stallard] came on the radio to tell me I had a 10 second penalty because it’s the one race where we had pace and I had a chance, but I still felt that I had pace on the Soft so I just got my head down and got on with it. Lando let me by, so that let me keep attacking, and when I saw the Alpines right in front of me, I was like ‘alright, it’s game-on here’. I knew if I kept George [Russell] behind me and didn’t lose the few seconds to the blue flag, I had a real chance. That was tense for a few laps – but then he pulled in for fastest lap and that gave me a bit of breathing space. All-in-all, very happy and huge shout out to the team, especially the pit crew for the 1.98-second pitstop – the fastest of the season!”
Lando Norris started the race in eighth and came home in ninth place. Speaking following the race, Norris commented saying:
“Today was a good race. I lost a couple of places at the start. It wasn’t a bad launch, but it wasn’t the best, and it’s a long run down to Turn One. I had to box when I did to cover Yuki, going onto the Hard tyres but they weren’t the tyres to be on! I lost a lot of time compared to Daniel who went onto the Softs, which was a much, much quicker strategy in the end. I’m still happy because I think we did a good job and got the most out of it that we could. The team scored some good points and we out-scored Alpine, which is the goal. We’ll head back to the factory to work hard ahead of Brazil in two weeks’ time.”
There are just two races remaining this season with Brazil in just under two weeks and Abu Dhabi a week later and with that in mind, McLaren closed the gap to the Alpine F1 Team in the race for fourth place in the Constructors championship as a result of Fernando Alonso’s retirement from the race in Mexico.
McLaren head to Brazil just seven points behind Alpine in the race for fourth and speaking following the race in Mexico on Sunday, McLaren Racing F1 Team Principal Andreas Seidl commented saying:
This was an intense Sunday for our team at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. After losing positions at the start, a great job from the drivers, excellent pitstops and brave strategy calls got us back into a competitive position, eventually finishing P7 and P9. Important points in our battle with Alpine for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“A special mention to Daniel – Driver of the Day – who had a very strong weekend after a tough time in Austin. He’s been more comfortable in the car from the first run here in Mexico, and put in a great final stint which, combined with an aggressive strategy, produced an impressive result.
“Also, another fantastic job by the pit crew to record the two fastest stops of the race, with our 1.98-second stop for Daniel being the fastest of any team so far this season.
“Thanks to the entire team – those here at the track, back at the factory and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP – for producing a reliable car for these unique conditions and managing a very complex race. We’ve got a short rest now and then we go again into the last double-header of 2022.