McLaren boss issues blunt assessment of Daniel Ricciardo’s performances

McLaren chief Zak Brown has bluntly declared that Daniel Ricciardo has not 'met expectations' at the team since joining in 2021, where he's been vastly outperformed by teammate Lando Norris.

The Australian driver picked up a sixth-placed finish in his home Grand Prix and the 11 points that go along with it but has failed to finish in the top 10 in any of the other five races so far this season.

Ricciardo's woes are a continuation of a disappointing first year with McLaren, where he finished eighth in the championship despite securing the team's best result of the season with a win in Monza – with Lando Norris coming in second for the team's first one-two finish since 2010.

While Ricciardo did out-finish Norris in Italy, he finished the season 45-points behind the Brit and that trend seems likely to continue in 2022, with Norris already 28 points above his teammate this year.

Ricciardo was a lucrative recruit for McLaren, following his years at Red Bull and a short stint at Renault, but Brown has admitted that Norris is established as the team's number-one driver and Ricciardo has fallen short of what was expected.

"Lando definitely has an edge," he told Sky Sports. "We would obviously like to see Daniel much closer to Lando and have a good inter-team battle. Daniel is just not comfortable yet with the car, we're trying everything we can. Again it was a disappointing weekend.

"Short of Monza and a few races, it's generally not kind of met his or our expectations, as far as what we were expecting. And I think all you can do is keep working hard as a team, keep communications going, keep pushing and hope that whatever is not kind of clicking at the moment clicks shortly."

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However, Brown added that the difference between the two drivers is a testament to the ability of Norris: "I think it also points to how good Lando is one of the best drivers in the world at the moment."

McLaren have been unable to compete with those at the front of the grid this season following the latest round of Formula One regulation changes for 2022, which the team had hoped would have boosted their chances.

The team are currently lying fourth in the Constructor's Championship but are 70 points behind third-place Mercedes and a whopping 145 points behind championship leaders Red Bull.

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