McLaren team boss Andrea Stella has said the team “appreciated” how Daniel Ricciardo remained calm throughout his struggles.
Ricciardo’s time with McLaren came to an end at last month’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the Australian wrapping up with the Woking-based team after two years of general anonymity.
Having swapped to McLaren from Renault, Ricciardo arrived after a strong run of form with his previous team, but was never able to adjust to life with the cars given to him by McLaren. Aside from one glorious weekend in Monza, Ricciardo struggled for pace and form alongside Lando Norris.
But the eight-time Grand Prix winner never gave up on trying to find a solution for his issues, working closely with his engineers tirelessly to address the shortcomings, and never pointing the finger of blame at his team – instead admitting that he was struggling to adjust.
It was in this attitude that Ricciardo, despite being ousted from his contract, managed to keep a positive, friendly relationship going with McLaren right to the end of their agreement, with new team boss Andrea Stella praising the Australian upon his departure.
“One point I would highlight from a race team point of view is that he also brought us to some elements of approach,” Stella told Motorsport.com.
“Like, we appreciated it immensely that he stayed calm. He was collaborative, positive, constructive, even during the struggle, even in difficult weekends.”
Stella, who took over as team boss as Andreas Seidl departed for Sauber, said it would have been very easy for Ricciardo’s struggles to create an atmosphere of tension and unhappiness.
“We have seen previously, not necessarily at McLaren, but these situations can become quite difficult,” he said.
“Environmentally, they can just take negative spirals. That never happened. So we are very appreciative, and we acknowledge that like an element of peculiarity of Daniel, which I would like to recognise.”
Stella made the point that, even in the doldrums of his issues, Ricciardo’s willingness to engage and learn from his problems also yielded benefit for McLaren.
“This also meant that from the difficulties, we gained technical knowledge, driving knowledge,” he said.
“Because rather than becoming immediately difficult conversations, there were conversations where we could go to the bottom of what we could see in the data, what was his feeling?
“So I think that was an extremely positive process, from which everyone learned as to what is the ethos, and what is the even emotional approach if you want, to your job, and to human interactions.”
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