McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl ruled out the possibility of the team favoring one driver over the other, at the start of the season. With a strong and experienced driver like Daniel Ricciardo joining the team, some expect McLaren to give the Aussie an advantage if required. However, Seidl rejected the theory and asserted that both drivers would be treated equally.
Will McLaren be forced to make Daniel Ricciardo number 1?
Losing Carlos Sainz is a major setback, but the driver that’s replacing him is one of the best in the business. Daniel Ricciardo’s a race winner, an experienced campaigner and someone who’s used to the pressure of driving for a big team. There’s a good chance of Lando and Daniel getting along like gin and tonic, but when that visor’s down, it’s every man for himself.
With Sainz and Norris, McLaren hasn’t really had the opportunity or need to issue team orders. The duo’s been fairly respectful on track, knowing what the team’s objectives are. But with someone like Ricciardo coming in, McLaren may need to reevaluate its approach to handling drivers.
Some would argue that Daniel holds the edge on Norris simply because of all the time he’s spent in F1. Moreover, the honey badger’s hungry for wins and is desperate for a World Championship. It May not be in McLaren’s best interests to upset a big name driver like Ricciardo, who McLaren has been after for a while now.
Seidl says no, for now
But team principal Seidl claims the team won’t favor one single driver, at least at the start of the season. The German expects both drivers to fare well without a need for team orders. Speaking to Sky Sports, Seidl said:
As long as I’m the team boss, no one at the start of the season will ever be the number one.”
If you still have such a long way to go as we have”, “
“you just have to have two strong drivers equal to each other,”
“As Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have already shown in 2019,”
“With Lando and Daniel we have another great duo. Not only sporty but also when it comes to presenting McLaren as a brand”
With Mercedes’s power and a strong driver lineup, McLaren has plenty to cheer about in 2021.