F1 triple-header points haul

Having been a strong contender for third place in the constructors’ championship heading in to the Mexican Grand Prix, a run of incidents and bad luck has proved costly for both Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.

Despite showing some good pace with its car, Ricciardo got tangled up in a first lap clash with Valtteri Bottas in Mexico, retired from the Brazilian GP thanks to a crack in the power unit installation, and finished out of the points in Qatar after forced into excessive fuel saving.

It means the only points from the three races were scored by Norris, who managed 10th place in Mexico and Brazil, but lost a top five spot in Qatar thanks to a late puncture and came home ninth.

Reflecting on what has been a difficult three weeks for McLaren, with it falling 39.5 points behind Ferrari with two races remaining, Seidl said that the points scored did not reflect the true potential of the team’s package.

“I think to a certain degree we have to accept that it has been tough for the entire team, scoring four points in three races is obviously painful,” explained Seidl.

“But if we also look at what happened and how we lost a lot of points, things have been out of our hands or bad luck. And that is part of the sport we are in.

“I think the good thing is that we have seen the gap [in Qatar] and we had a competitive car, two drivers who were competitive on track and the team did a good job with pitstops. So we just have to come back to Saudi and strike back.”

While Seidl says the team is trying to get to the bottom of why Ricciardo faced such excessive fuel saving, it reckons Norris would have come home with a decent amount of points were it not for the unexpected puncture late on.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“From my point of view I think he would have been P4 or P5 on merit,” he said.

“That’s obviously an even bigger shame that we had this puncture, because after two unlucky weekends for us in Brazil and Mexico it would have been simply good to score a good result independent of the battle we are in in the constructors’ championship.”

McLaren had no immediate explanation for what caused Norris’ puncture, but the team is clear that, even if fails to overhaul Ferrari in the final two races, a strong end to the year will be encouraging for 2022.

“Unfortunately with the tyre failure, we missed the opportunity, so the triple header didn’t really go our way,” added Seidl.

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“Sometimes it goes like that in the sport. For us now, it is making sure in the last two races we keep fighting because, as long as it is theoretically possible, we will give it all for the constructors’ championship.

“But independent of that, we simply want to finish on a high and score some good results again as we go into the winter break.”

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