McLaren boss defends himself after making Ricciardo axe comment

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown recently spoke out about Daniel Ricciardo, insisting that the Australian could be removed from the team.

The relationship between McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown and Daniel Ricciardo, appears to be a strange one.

The pair were recently involved in a heated back and forth exchange to reporters, with Brown insisting that there were “mechanisms” in place to fire the Australian from the team.

Ricciardo has largely underperformed since joining the British team at the start of last season, with his victory at the 2021 Italian GP being his star performance.

This year has already seen Ricciardo consistently beaten by team-mate Lando Norris, however, the Honey Badger has been performing better as of late.

Ricciardo has finished ahead of Norris at the last two races, and will be hoping to continue this trend this weekend at Norris’ and the team’s home race.

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The British Grand Prix gives the 32-year-old a great opportunity to demonstrate his talent to the bosses at McLaren, who will all most likely be in attendance at the team’s home race.

No matter how he performs though, Ricciardo is contracted with McLaren for 2023, meaning that the Australian potentially has nothing to fear over losing his seat.

Prior to the last few rounds, Brown publicly said that Ricciardo had “generally not met his or our expectations”, fueling a much needed discussion between the pair.

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It’s believed that Ricciardo went to Brown for a chat following these comments, and that their “clear the air” talk has played a part in his improved performances as of late.

Ahead of the British GP at Silverstone, Brown was asked if himself and Ricciardo had a bad relationship.

“No, not at all,” Brown insisted.

“I think we need to focus on giving our drivers better race cars.”

The media went on to ask Brown about the “mechanisms” comment, something which the American deemed was an “honest answer”.

“I was asked a question and I just gave an honest answer,” Brown explained.

“I think Daniel has said the same thing. We’re here to try and get towards the front,” he insisted.

“I think he’s highly motivated. He has all of our support, we’re having fun and we have a great relationship with him.

“We 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,” the American concluded.

Ricciardo has appeared to be behaving more like his usual self as of late, with his highly energetic personality and behaviour becoming evident once again on screen.