‘Daniel did what I wanted’: Lando Norris frustrated by Ricciardo’s success

Daniel Ricciardo outscored his teammate Lando Norris for only the second time this season with a P7 finish in Mexico.

Daniel Ricciardo reminded the world exactly what he can do in Mexico, charging through the pack late on to finish seventh, passing both Alpines, McLaren’s biggest championship rival, on the way.

The Australian decided to go long on the medium tyres that he started the race on, before switching to the softs for the final stint which gave him the pace to tear through the field, making his 10-second penalty for colliding with Yuki Tsunoda irrelevant.

This was only the second time that Ricciardo has beaten his teammate Lando Norris in a race this season, and the young Brit was left frustrated by his teams reluctance to put him on the same strategy as the 33-year-old.

“We covered Yuki very early on, which meant I had to go onto the hard tyre. So I would not really do what I wanted to do,” he admitted.

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“So maybe a bit of a mistake there to do that. But Daniel did what I wanted to do, which was to stay out and then go onto the soft, which was like, 30 or 40 seconds quicker in terms of race time.

“I think we did the best we could. Still managed to get past Bottas with a few laps to go so that one extra point always helps.”

Tyre degradation was a lot lower than teams anticipated in Mexico, with a two stop strategy seemly the only way to complete the race without using the hard tyre, however as proved by Ricciardo and race winner Max Verstappen, a medium-soft blend worked perfectly as a race combination.

Ricciardo’s strong performance means that the team move within seven points of Alpine in the constructors’ championship, which Norris believes gives them a chance to leapfrog them in the final two races, despite having the slower car.

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“It makes me happy that we’re closing the gap but it means we still have to work extremely hard to beat them over the next two races,” he said.

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“I don’t know how we’re going to do to be honest with you. I wouldn’t say Brazil is going to suit us at all with our balance of the car and so on, and our struggles.

“But I think even the last few races, we’ve not been the quickest car or quick enough, we’ve just done a better job with the strategy and with reliability, such as today.”

With Fernando Alonso retiring from the Mexican Grand Prix, and Esteban Ocon also having problems, McLaren will be hoping that the French team’s reliability issues continue to give them a better chance of outscoring them in the coming races.