McLaren boss reveals if he ‘trusts’ Ricciardo and Norris after team orders disagreement

Daniel Ricciardo finished eighth ahead of team-mate Lando Norris in Baku.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is pleased Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris both respected the calls to stay put during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. 

Ricciardo started the race on the Hards, with Norris ahead on the Mediums in Baku, but it was the Australian who appeared to have the upper hand on pace in the early going.

He was close to making a move on his team-mate into Turn One, but was told to hold position, and duly obliged by letting the 22-year-old remain in front of him.

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Ricciardo eventually got by Norris in the pit stop phases, and the pair had switched over to opposite tyres, and it was Norris who was going quicker than the eight-time race winner towards the end.

Norris was then also told to remain behind, and he had a few more objections to the decision than his team-mate did, although he eventually settled for ninth.

After seeing both his drivers knocked out in Q2 on Saturday, Seidl is pleased to walk away from Azerbaijan with six points.

“I’m happy with the points we could score given the sort of performance we had here this weekend,” he told Sky Sports. 

“I think with everything I could see from the moment I think was well executed by the team. Both drivers and I guess we pretty much maximised everything we had today.

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“I’m very happy with how we prepared the race and how we executed, and also I think there was simply not more in [the car] and we are very happy we could actually score these points.”

The German would be surprised if a driver did not want to race their team-mate and finish ahead, so he has no qualms about Norris’ desire to get by Ricciardo for eighth.

READ: ‘Daniel did it to me a few years ago’: Norris defends Hamilton after FIA investigation

“I think a driver should think like that,” added Seidl with a smile.

“The most important thing is we have prepared these scenarios that the drivers know exactly what the goals will be.

“If situations like this come up, I have a lot of trust in both guys and in the end, I’ve seen on track I can rely on them which is very important.

“I have a good team in place that communicates with me as well when I have to get involved in things like team orders like today.

“But again, as I said at the beginning, the team did well. I’m very happy with the outcome given the performance we had this weekend.”

The result in Baku was the third time this season that Ricciardo has finished ahead of Norris, but his four points were not enough to stop him losing championship positions to Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso, who finished fifth and seventh respectively, pushing the Australian down to 13th in the standings.