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McLaren

Ricciardo and Norris give views on McLaren team orders in Baku

Both Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris were asked to follow team orders from McLaren at different stages during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Norris Baku
Article
To news overview © XPB

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris have each given their take on the team orders that came into effect during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

With each driver starting on a different strategy, Ricciardo initially looked to have more pace behind Norris in the early stages of the race.

However, with Norris soon to pit, the team asked Ricciardo to hold position, despite the Australian voicing concerns about being caught by the chasing Pierre Gasly behind.

Ricciardo later benefitted from making a pit-stop under the Virtual Safety Car, which put him ahead of Norris.

In the final stages of the race, Norris seemed keen to overtake Ricciardo to try to have a chance at passing Fernando Alonso in the Alpine ahead.

Again, though, McLaren asked that he hold position, due to them having requested the same of Ricciardo earlier in the Grand Prix.

Norris voiced his frustration about this over the team radio, but stayed in P9, with Ricciardo finishing P8.

			© XPB
	© XPB

Ricciardo: Team maximised the result

After finishing outside of the points for the three weekends prior to Baku, Ricciardo was glad to break this pattern, and feels that the result was the best that the team could achieve.

"[I'm] happy to be back in the points, for sure," Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1.

"Looking at it as a team, I think that was us, in terms of where we ended up finishing. In moments we could be a little bit quicker [than Alonso], but their third sector was so quick that even if we exited the last corner on his gearbox, he would just pull away.

"I could see Lando in the first stint being right on him but couldn't overtake, so I think that was us. [I'm] happy to be back in the points.

"Obviously, you always want to be quicker, but as a team, I think we maximised what we could do. We obviously played around a bit with team orders, so I think in the end it kind of neutralised itself, and I don't think we could have attacked Fernando any differently."

Did McLaren do the right thing?

When asked whether he felt McLaren had done the right thing in first asking him to hold station, and later doing the same for Norris, Ricciardo explained: "At the beginning, of course, I was feeling like I could attack and obviously wanted to, but had to obey and control myself!

"But these are things also we talk about before the race, so it's not a shock or a surprise.

"Then I think with two or three laps to go, I was told that we were going to hold position, so I guess the favour got returned.

"We'll probably talk more about it now in the next 30/40 minutes, but [I'm] happy to be back in the points and [with] both cars, on a weekend where we struggled with overall pace as a team."

			© XPB
	© XPB

Norris reflects on "tough" afternoon

Norris admitted after the race that it had been a "tough" afternoon for him, having felt that he lost out due to bad luck with his strategy in the Virtual Safety Car period.

"I guess we just got unlucky with the strategy," the Briton said.

"Just with a couple of the cars boxing under the VSC, which we didn't do. My pace was just much better than a couple of the cars ahead, but it didn't make a difference for us as a team.

"We're still eighth and ninth. But, of course, it's a race and I want to finish eighth."

Mixed feelings for Norris

Norris was quizzed on how he felt about being asked to hold position behind Ricciardo in the latter stages of the Grand Prix, and seemed to have mixed feelings about the situation.

"At the end it's just racing for pure position," he stated.

"I think there's one lap before I boxed that he would have passed me, so I understand that, but at the same time we're here to race, and I think we know that.

"I'm not going to say anything because it's fair. I think what we did, just to end the race, you want to race to the finish, wouldn't matter if it's eighth or ninth.

"But as a driver, you just want to be in that further ahead position, so it's quite simple.

"I think there's a small difference between what happens in the middle of the race, and just fighting for our finish position when there's no risk at the end.

"The team did a good job, I'm happy with that, so nothing to complain about."

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F1 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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