Ricciardo Defends McLaren Team Orders Which Benefitted Norris

Daniel Ricciardo said he had to swallow his pride and do the right thing for the team.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris team orders at Imola - Formula1News.co.uk

Daniel Ricciardo has said he believes McLaren made the right call by asking him to let team-mate Lando Norris through early in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when they were running in P5 and P6, respectively.

Norris finished the race in third to score his second-ever F1 podium, while Ricciardo brought his McLaren home in P6.

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Ricciardo overtook Norris at the start and held him up for a number of laps before the young Brit pleaded with the team to instruct his new team-mate to let him through.

“I have a lot more pace in me, I can’t use it at the moment. I need clean air,” Norris said on the radio, before McLaren promptly told Ricciardo to let his team-mate go through.

Norris then comfortably pulled away from Ricciardo, and the Aussie has said he believes the decision was “fair enough.”

Speaking after the race at Imola, Ricciardo said: “I think that’s where I’ve got to swallow my pride.

“I honestly think the team were fair enough, they gave me time to try to show my pace.

“There were some laps where I had a bit and could kind of do a decent time, and to be honest where I did push I did start to kill a bit the right front [tyre] so they gave me the time required to show what I had.

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“Today it wasn’t enough, so I’m not going to get into any fisticuffs, it was fair enough,” he added.

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Meanwhile, Norris said he was very pleased to score a podium after having a disappointing qualifying which saw him miss out on P3 on the grid after his fastest Q3 lap was deleted due to a track limits violation.

“On the whole I’m very pleased with myself and the team as well,” Norris said. 

“We improved the car a lot over the first couple of days from Friday into Saturday and through the sessions and so on. We didn’t start on the best foot, but we improved a lot.

“I was disappointed yesterday [after qualifying] so to come back to third today after a pretty eventful race for myself and I’m sure the others as well was rewarding for myself but more importantly the team.”

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