McLaren’s leadership duo of Team Principal Andreas Seidl and CEO Zak Brown were understandably thrilled after Daniel Ricciardo ended a 170-race drought for the team with victory at Monza – and Lando Norris came home in second to ensure a first one-two since 2010. But the bosses stressed there is still a long way to go until the team is where they want it to be…
It was back in the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix that McLaren last won a race, and 220 races ago that they took a one-two – at the Canadian Grand Prix in 2010. On Sunday at Monza, the Woking squad showed glimpses of their past greatness returning as Ricciardo took the lead from Max Verstappen at the start and retained it when Verstappen collided with Lewis Hamilton.
READ MORE: Ricciardo leads stunning McLaren 1-2 after Verstappen and Hamilton collide at Monza
Team Principal Seidl began: “First of all, I’m just happy and proud of the team today. I’m very proud of every single member of the team back home, here at the track, colleagues at Mercedes and Lando and Daniel.
“And there was a lot of pressure today because we knew that we had a good car and we knew also that if we managed to stay ahead of one or the other car at the beginning or managed to overtake that there’s actually a chance to do something big.
“The team is doing sensational work with sensational spirit as well, and it’s great to see that it’s step-by-step paying off. At the same time, no reason to get carried away; it’s important to celebrate today but shouldn’t forget one week ago [at Zandvoort] we got destroyed. We still have a lot of work to do, but the direction is the right one,” added Seidl.
2021 Italian Grand Prix: 2021 Italian Grand Prix: Ricciardo’s ‘shoey’ returns, Zak Brown and Lando Norris his newest victims
CEO Brown – who joined his drivers on the podium – joked that he had made a deal with Seidl to lift the trophy.
READ MORE: ‘Deep down I never lost faith or belief’ says Ricciardo after taking first win since 2018
“Yes, I mean, extremely extremely proud,” said Brown. “It’s all the men and women at McLaren, Andreas… our leadership team, and I’m just happy I cut one deal with Andreas – I cut deals with the drivers – but Andreas and I actually cut the deal, which is that he gets all the work and gets the win, but I get to lift the trophy. One of the best deals I cut! I’m always up for a deal.”
He also praised Seidl’s leadership and the unerring calmness of the German boss, who responded to Ricciardo’s elation on the team radio after the chequered flag.
“Andreas is always very very calm, which is great, I mean that’s the kind of leadership you want in the Formula 1 team, as he says one win and last weekend wasn’t very good so I think we have to keep our feet on the ground. And one win at a time,” he reiterated.
2021 Italian Grand Prix: Ricciardo takes McLaren’s first victory since 2012
Seidl also held up his drivers, with Norris’s P2 finish his best ever in F1, and Ricciardo’s win coming after a difficult time getting to grips with his new car.
“As we know, Lando had a sensational season so far; Daniel struggled with integration, getting used to our car at the beginning, but there’s a reason that we wanted to get him on board: he’s a proven racer and he’s one of the best ones in that sport and it’s great to see now after the break that it’s coming and to pull off a weekend like this… is obviously great for us,” said Seidl. “We needed that also, the battle we’re in with Ferrari, on our journey to get back to the front in Formula 1. Very happy with both drivers, what they did.
READ MORE: Verstappen handed three place grid drop for Sochi after crash with Hamilton at Monza
“And to see how the team delivered under pressure was impressive for me so very happy with that. There’ll be some big celebrations tonight because these moments, you have to celebrate properly.”
After a magical day at Monza, McLaren now sit 13.5 points ahead of Ferrari and third in the constructors’ championship heading to the Russian Grand Prix.