Zak Brown found himself in the spotlight after making some critical comments about Daniel Ricciardo’s performances at McLaren a few weeks ago, admitting that the Australian had not met expectations since joining the team.
In the time since then, Brown has spoken to formula1.com about his relationship with Ricciardo, making clear that recent results have not changed the dynamics between the two:
“We have a great relationship and had dinner a couple of weeks ago in London. We have good laughs together, and enjoy racing together, so the relationship with Daniel has never been better.
I was asked a question and I just gave an honest answer. I think Daniel has said the same thing; we are here to try and get towards the front. We’ve had some awesome weekends like Monza [where Ricciardo led home a McLaren one-two in 2021], and then some disappointing weekends.”
It is certainly true that Ricciardo’s performances at McLaren have generally fallen short of expectations, with the majority of F1 fans expecting the multiple-race winner to establish himself as race leader.
However, the Australian has struggled to match the efforts of his teammates, which both Ricciardo and McLaren must take responsibility for, as they have clearly failed to maximise the potential of their partnership.
“And coming back to our car, I don’t think we’ve yet given our drivers a car that is capable of being at the front on a regular basis, so we need to do that.
We have a great relationship, and I just gave an honest answer about a question about how things are going, and things could be going better, but we’re going to work hard and make sure that they [go better] in the future.
I think last year in Monza when we had a strong race car, we could see what Daniel and Lando [Norris] could do with it. I think we need to focus on giving our drivers better race cars. And I think Daniel is highly motivated, he has all of our support, and we’re having fun. I have a great relationship with him.”