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Alpine pressure forced McLaren to use team orders in Baku

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo at the Azerbaijan GP. Credits: @McLarenF1 (Twitter).

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl revealed why they had not allowed Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris to switch positions in Baku.

McLaren teammates started the Azerbaijan GP from the 6th row on different tire compounds. Both drivers were behind Fernando Alonso and unable to make a pass. Ricciardo, who was on Hard tires, said that he had better pace than Norris. However, the team did not allow the Australian to make an overtake.

Ricciardo managed to get ahead of Norris after his pit stop during Virtual Safety Car. Later on, the Briton wanted to recover the position, but McLaren again decided not to make a switch. As a result, Ricciardo and Norris finished the race 8th and 9th respectively.

Seidl explained that the fact Esteban Ocon might have gotten ahead of either of the drivers made McLaren make such decisions.

“I think what we heard on the radio is what you would like to hear from every race driver, being ambitious and trying to have the best possible race for himself,” he said.

“That’s why there’s a team in place that makes sure we have the best possible outcome for the team without risking losing two cars on track by crashing into each other.

“If Daniel would have gone by Lando at the beginning of the race, we would just have ended up in a yo-yo like we have seen with some other teams already this year, both being stuck behind Alonso and having the risk that Ocon actually goes through at least one of these cars.

“Our idea was with holding position for both cars behind Fernando, that we make sure by that we keep Ocon in check, which we did.”

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